Hundreds of hungry Kandal province farmers marched from the Sam Rainsy Party headquarters to the World Food Program office in Phnom Penh on Thursday in a bid to receive food.
“I come here because I have a shortage of food to eat,” said Soeun Thong, 52, who hails from Sa’ang district’s Kraing Yov commune, a former rural development zone designated by Prime Minister Hun Sen.
Some of the hungry villagers had also come to Phnom Penh last month to beg for food, to little avail. Police carefully watched their march on Thursday from the opposition party’s headquarters on Sothearos Boulevard to the WFP office on Street 63. No arrests were made.
Last month, the villagers wrote letters appealing for food assistance to King Norodom Sihanouk, the Cambodian Red Cross and Hun Sen, but received no reply, said Chrea Sok Chenda, an opposition lawmaker from Kandal.
“They have no hope in the government,” he said at the rally. “They have no choice but to show sad faces and wait for help.”
When the group reached the WFP headquarters, which is still investigating a recent rice fraud worth more than a million dollars, a WFP representative told the hungry villagers it needed to investigate their case before giving them food.
“Here at the WFP office, there is not even one can of rice,” said the woman, who refused to give her name. “And we don’t have money for you.”
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