The abandoned Cambodian Red Cross building on Phnom Penh’s Norodom Boulevard has been demolished so that the land may be rented out to boost the organization’s coffers, CRC officials said Sunday.
Ouk Damery, deputy president of the CRC, said the land will be rented out to a private firm, which will develop the property.
However, Ouk Damery said he could not reveal the name of the company, nor give further details of the terms of the deal.
Just over a week ago, the CRC celebrated its 50th anniversary, raising nearly $2 million from the country’s elite.
Ouk Damery said the aid organization is renting the space to raise more funds.
“We need funds to continue our every day operations,” he said. “We cannot rely completely on aid. We must find income ourselves.”
The CRC, which now has its main office on Street 180, has no use for the building, he added. He said the building was built more than 30 years ago, but did not know anything more of its history. He referred further questions to Mey Samedy, the secretary-general of the CRC.
Khuon Sodary, spokeswoman for Prime Minister Hun Sen’s wife and CRC President Bun Rany, also referred all questions to the secretary-general.
Contacted on Sunday, Mey Samedy said the property will be rented out to a Singaporean company, but declined to name the firm.
He also declined to reveal how much the CRC would receive for the land and would not provide any details about what the company intends to build there.
“We rent it to get money to help the poor,” Mey Samedy said.
By Sunday, the building had been completely leveled and its gate stripped of the CRC sign.