The National Committee for Disaster Management, Embassy of Japan and the World Food Programme (WFP) to Hand Over Six Newly Built Safe Evacuation Centers to Local Communities
21 May 2021
Pursat & Kampong Thom - Marking the completion of the six safe evacuation centres (SECs) meant to mitigate the impacts of floods on at-risk communities, the Japanese Embassy and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) joined the National Committee for Disaster Management (NCDM) to officially hand the facilities over to local communities in Kampong Chhnang, Kampong Thom and Pursat before the start of the rainy season.
The Safe Evacuation Centres (SECs) are built in compliance with international standards and are equipped with a large hall, a kitchen, a laundry, a storage room, bathrooms, a hand-washing station, a livestock shelter, and a large open field. Each site also includes water supply (tube wells, water storage and containers), electrical system (a generator, solar system) as well as lightning protection.
The six SECs can accommodate between 2,000 and 3,000 people and are the latest demonstration of the long-standing Japanese commitment to the people of Cambodia. They serve the dual purpose of housing displaced families when cyclones and floods strike during the rainy season and of providing a multi-purpose space for the rest of the year. For example, they have recently been used as a COVID-19 vaccination site and as a quarantine site.
During his remarks, Mr. Karimata Atsushi, Minister and Deputy Chief of Mission of the Embassy of Japan in Cambodia said, “I’m honored to be part of this handover ceremony. The government and the people of Japan are proud to help build the resilience of local communities to deal with natural disasters. Through this humanitarian support, we would like to stay close to the Cambodian people as they attempt to overcome this difficult situation. We hope that this project will further strengthen the friendly relationship that exists between the two countries.”
The WFP representative, Ms. Claire CONAN, thanked the Government of Japan for the invaluable support. “With this generous support, WFP and NCDM have constructed and equipped these six safe evacuation centers to protect people during floods and other natural disasters and serve as a space to serve the community at other times”.
“There are times in life which are difficult and having a place where we can take refuge and feel safe is essential. We hope that these centres will provide that protection for thousands of Cambodians,” she added.
Mr. Srey Nal, a commune chief and community representative, thanked the Government of Japan for its financial support and the two implementing organizations, WFP and NCDM, “for accomplishing such a good job”. He also added on behalf of the local community who are the real owners of these facilities, “we will take good care of these facilities so that they can in turn take good care of us in hard times.”
In 2019, the Government of Japan contributed USD 2.7 million to WFP to enhance the resilience of Cambodian communities to shocks and build institutional capacity for emergency preparedness. This support has enabled 1) the construction of six safe evacuation centers in 3 flood-prone provinces; 2) strengthened disaster risk management planning at national, sub-national and community levels, and 3) enhanced early action through early warning systems.
Since 1998, the Government of Japan has been a significant partner to WFP’s work in Cambodia, contributing USD 22 million in the last ten years to improving food security and nutrition through in-kind support (rice and canned fish) and cash contributions, as well as supporting the enhancement of emergency preparedness and response. Early this year, the Government of Japan allocated an additional US$ 2 million to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to mitigate the impact of floods on food security of flood-affected households and communities in Cambodia.