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Food and clean water help people focus on the future

When floods swept through large areas of Cambodia in late 2013, food shortages were one of the key challenges faced by those affected. CARE helped to alleviate this by providing key supplies as part of its emergency response.

Chim Sophat, 32, and her husband live in Preak Pham, a small village in Prey Veng province in rural Cambodia where families eke out a living by fishing. She is one of the 205,914 people in Prey Veng who were affected by flooding.

During the flood season, Sophat was severely affected by the rising water, which came through the broken walls and roof of her house. Her whole family needed to take shelter at her neighbour’s house, causing many sleepless nights and anxiety, and they faced food shortages.

She and her husband tried to use a small boat to fishing for food to eat, as this caused her a lot of worry. “I really worry about not having enough food to live on,” says Sophat. “My husband is often sick and weak from a lack of food, and unable to work properly.” Sophat herself looked weak and malnourished as she spoke. For a time, they relied on the kindness of other people. “We received some rice and other food from some good neighbours, who have taken pity on my family,” says Sophat.

As part of their response to these floods, CARE coordinated distribution of essential supplies to community members in Prey Veng who had been affected. These included rice, clean water, hygiene kits and health supplies. These helped community members to meet their immediate food needs, removing this as a worry so they could focus their energies on planning for the future.

When she heard of CARE’s response, Sophat journeyed to the distribution site, even though she did not have an ‘ID Poor’ card or distribution voucher. “Fortunately, the distribution team decided to give the rice and hygiene kit to my family,” she said, smiling. “I was very delighted when I received them. These items help my family and others to have a better life for the next few weeks.” She added, “I am happy to say thank you to all of the kind distributors and donors that gave us the food and hygiene kit.”

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