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Thursday, 26 October, 2000, 06:13 GMT 07:13 UK
Cambodia gets $2m flood aid
Flood aid
Aid for flood victims has taken weeks to arrive
The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies have raised more than $2m in aid for flood victims along the Mekong River.

Assistance raised by the 13 September appeal will benefit at least 500,000 people over the next few months, according to a statement issued by the Red Cross's regional office in Bangkok.

Flood victim
The effects of the flooding are expected to last for mnay months

Early monsoon rains beginning in July caused the Mekong River, which runs through Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam, to overflow its banks.

An estimated 6.5 million people have been affected throughout Southeast Asia, with the most damage in Cambodia and Vietnam's Mekong Delta.

Aid needs

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen said two weeks ago that of the 2.7 million Cambodians affected by the flooding, 1.3 million were in urgent need of food, housing and medicine.

The United Nations has called for a further $10m in aid for flood victims in Vietnam.

More than 300 people have so far been killed by the flooding - the worst in the region for some 70 years.

The assistance has been given in the form of food, household items, clothing, shelter, clean drinking water, training and health education.

"The operation will continue to focus on emergency relief assistance, health and water and sanitation activities for the most vulnerable," said the Red Cross statement.

Cambodian opposition leader, Sam Rainsy has vowed to continue with a hunger strike protesting alleged official corruption in flood aid distribution after police forced him to leave a protest camp outside parliament.

Mr Rainsy, a fierce critic of Prime Minister Hun Sen, left the site after police cordoned it off and brought in more than 100 unarmed reinforcements and six trucks with a water cannon.

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See also:

16 Oct 00 | Asia-Pacific
Heavy rains add to SE Asia floods
24 Sep 00 | Asia-Pacific
Disease fears in Mekong floods
05 Oct 00 | Asia-Pacific
Vietnam flood victims face crocs threat
23 Sep 00 | Asia-Pacific
'Worst to come' in Mekong floods
17 Sep 00 | Asia-Pacific
Mekong floods worsen
14 Sep 00 | Asia-Pacific
In Pictures: The Mekong floods
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