Displaced Communities Ask EU to Monitor Funds

Residents of three displaced communities in Phnom Penh on Friday submitted a petition to the office of the European Union delegation, urging it to monitor funds it gives to the government.

More than 50 protesters from the Boeng Kak, Borei Keila and Thmor Kol neighborhoods were met by Daunh Penh district security guards and military police at the front of the E.U.’s office.

After a short standoff, E.U. program officer Vannsin Song received the petition.

“I will deliver it to the E.U. Ambassador [Jean-Francois Cautain],” Mr. Song said.

The petition asks the E.U. to consider how donations are used, alleging that at least some of it is siphoned off by officials, and that donors often overlook the societal impact of projects they support.

“Please, E.U., pay close attention and don’t make the same mistakes the World Bank made,” the petition says, in reference to a Bank land-titling program that saw thousands of families lose their land in the former Boeng Kak lake community, ultimately leading to a funding freeze by the Bank.

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