The Cambodian Red Cross took in over $7 million at an annual fundraiser on Saturday to mark World Red Cross Day, almost double the amount the organization raised last year, a Red Cross spokesman said Sunday.
Around 4,000 volunteers and 800 donors attended the event, which was presided over by Prime Minister Hun Sen, and also marked the 55th anniversary of the Cambodian Red Cross, which is currently headed by the prime minister’s wife, Bun Rany, according to spokesperson Men Neary Sopheak.
“There was a balance between Cambodian, Chinese, Vietnamese and some English-speaking donors,” Ms Sopheak said, adding that most donations, which had reached a provisional total $7.4 million as of Sunday, came from the private sector.
“I think that most donors see in our work that whatever we give goes to the people. There was clear evidence during the [Ketsana] typhoon that we did well in emergency response,” she said.
King Norodom Sihamoni donated $5,000 while former King Norodom Sihanouk and his wife, Queen Mother Norodom Monineath Sihanouk donated $10,000, the same amounts as last year, according to Oum Daravuth, a member of the Royal Palace Cabinet.
Many businessmen, including those affiliated with the CPP, made donations. Port and agribusiness owner Mong Rithy donated $20,000, according to his deputy, Monivann Tann. KT Group Ltd CEO and Chairman Sy Kong Triv said that he had personally contributed $50,000.
Ly Yong Phat, the agribusiness and casino operator, said Sunday he was among the donors.
“I am a representative of my company and I paid $100,000 for humanitarian aid,” CPP senator Ly Yong Phat said by telephone Sunday.
SRP lawmaker Yim Sovann praised the donations to the Cambodian Red Cross, but suggested that some of those who contributed to the fund need to do more than just give money.
“The contributions, donations to the Red Cross are good for Cambodia,” Mr Sovann said.
“In the Cambodian context, many people that donate to the Red Cross, like rich people, at the same time get illegal land from people and make the people suffer,” he added.