Having already retired from politics, former co-prime minister Prince Norodom Ranariddh will be making a move into philanthropy by opening a foundation to help the poor, a spokesman said Sunday.
The prince’s representative, Chea Chanboribo, said by telephone that the foundation will support social, health and education programs for the poor, and will be funded by national and international donors.
“The prince wants to help the poor and cooperate with the government’s work to help the poor in these sectors,” Mr Chanboribo said.
He added that the prince has completed the necessary paperwork, and the foundation will open once it is approved by the government.
He added that he did not expect any trouble getting approval, because the foundation’s goal is to assist the poor.
Late last year, the prince withdrew as head of the Norodom Ranariddh Party, which he founded after being ousted as president of Funcinpec in 2006. Since leaving the NRP, he has served as president of the Supreme Privy Advisory Council to King Norodom Sihamoni.
The king’s adviser Prince Sisowath Thomico said Sunday that he welcomed the news of the foundation, and added that Prince Ranariddh’s decision was in line with a request from his father, former King Norodom Sihanouk.
“I’m happy to hear that Prince Ranariddh will open a foundation to help the poor, because in 2006, the king father asked everyone in the royal family to withdraw from politics and work in the humanitarian and social sectors,” Prince Thomico said by telephone.
He added that the prince, who is now in Malaysia, would soon visit the former king and Queen Monineath in Siem Reap, and will then release a news release announcing his foundation.
The prince’s half-brother Prince Norodom Chakrapong said Sunday that although he did not usually speak with reporters, “A humanitarian foundation to help the poor, I think it is good.”