Thousands Turned Away From Aid Handout

Flood victims in Kompong Thom province who have not received aid from the government are accusing local authorities of giving donations to relatives and CPP supporters.

A planned aid distribution to 2,000 people Sunday at the stadium in Kompong Thom town fell apart when more than 5,000 people showed up. Provincial officials stopped the aid distribution and told everyone to return to their villages.

The aid had been promised by Prime Minister Hun Sen, who was not at the stadium Sunday. During a visit in Oct­ober, the prime minister provided aid to 30,000 people and prom­ised aid to 18,000 more. But there was only enough rice, fish, sar­ongs and money for 2,000 on Sunday.

According to Hem Savong, Kompong Thom’s first deputy governor, a meeting of provincial and district officials was called and a committee formed to investigate any possible irregularities in the listings of those who should receive flood aid.

Hem Savong, a Funcinpec party member, pointed to Kantho commune, Stung Sen district, as one location where friends, relatives and partisans had received extra aid. “We want to make a new list and check the names registered for gifts in the past by authorities,” Hem Savong said.



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