Thousands of Cambodians go hungry in strict lockdown zones

Rights groups say government and UN inaction has left people lacking food and medicine for weeks.

Tens of thousands of Cambodians are going hungry under the country’s strict lockdown as Covid cases continue to rise amid criticism from human rights groups that the government and the UN are being too slow to act.

The south-east Asian country had recorded one of the world’s smallest coronavirus caseloads, but infections have climbed from about 500 in late February to 20,695 this week, with 136 deaths.

A three-week blanket lockdown in the capital, Phnom Penh, was lifted last week but more than 150,000 people are still living in designated red zones in cities across Cambodia, forbidden from leaving their homes other than for specific medical reasons. Many have been living under the country’s most restrictive lockdown measures since mid-April and have not been able to work or get food, medicine and other necessities for weeks.

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