US Embassy Rejects Rainsy’s Graft Claim

The US Embassy lashed out Friday at claims by opposition leader Sam Rainsy that food recently donated to Cambodia by the US through the World Food Pro­gram will likely be used by the CPP to buy votes during cam­paign­ing for next year’s national elections.

In a speech Wed­nesday at the National Press Club in Wash­ington DC, Sam Rainsy claimed the food “will be selectively distributed as gifts from the CPP.”

Cambodia’s political opposition has repeatedly accused the ruling party of exchanging food or mo­ney for votes, particularly in the run up to last February’s commune council elections.

In a statement released Friday, the embassy said it “emphatically denies these allegations” that US-donated food would be misused by the government.

The more than $17 million worth of food aid will be used to feed some 1.7 million victims of flooding and poverty, or be used in rural development food-for-work programs, according to the embassy statement. All food distribution will be supervised by the WFP.

The US remains the single largest donor to the WFP, and this most recent donation makes up 64 percent of all WFP food donated in Cambodia so far this year, the embassy said.



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