COVID: Cambodia’s harsh lockdown aggravates food insecurity

Efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus left many Cambodians without access to food, essential medicines and other necessities for weeks.

After having seemingly triumphed over the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, recording just 366 cases in total last year, Cambodia has been sent into a tailspin following a major outbreak on February 20, which has now seen cumulative case numbers rise above 20,000 and more than 130 deaths.

As infections spiked, on April 15, the government and local authorities put much of the capital Phnom Penh and nearby Takhmao city under strict lockdown, with residents of the worst-hit areas even banned from leaving their homes to purchase food.

As businesses closed, markets were ordered to shut and street-side vendors banned, many accused the government of causing a humanitarian crisis and some even said that people were close to starvation in the capital city.

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