A two-day United Nations conference on the famine in Kampuchea opened in Geneva on Monday (26 May).
GV Refugees walking in Khao-I-Dang camp PAN TO piles of earth
SV Bulldozer levelling earth (2 shots)
SV Group of refugee children
GV Truck tipping earth
GV Women carrying belongings
SV ZOOM OUT Children carrying bamboo sticks for building huts PAN TO huts being demolished (3 shots)
GTV Refugee huts and SV families in huts (3 shots)
SV PAN FROM Refugees and belongings TO Woman and child
CU Mother lying on bed with baby asleep
SV Child digging vegetable path by hut (2 shots)
GV Refugees carrying beds towards new camp
GV New refugee centre being constructed
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Background: A two-day United Nations conference on the famine in Kampuchea opened in Geneva on Monday (26 May). The conference coincides with warnings from relief agencies that not enough food is reaching Kampuchea or the campus housing those refugees who have crossed the border into Thailand. The agencies blame the Vietnamese-backed administration in Phnom Penh, but the Kampuchean Foreign Ministry have accused China, the United States and what it describes as 'other reactionary forces' of using international aid to further their anti-Phnom Penh policies.
SYNOPSIS: Of Thailand's three hundred thousand refugees, the majority have settled in the area around Aranyaprathet just five kilometres (3 miles) from the border with Kampuchea. One of the largest camps built to house the immigrant influx is at Khao-I-Dang. One hundred and thirty thousand refugees are accommodated there, but the Thai authorities plan to reduce the numbers to 60,000 in order to ease the administrative burden.
During the monsoon season, Khao-I-Dang will be flooded because it has been constructed on low-lying marshland. The United Nations High Commission for Refugees is financing a new development project on higher ground above the existing camp. The Refugees are to be moved to their new homes in groups as different stages of work are completed. Khao-I-Dang will be converted for use as a recreation area. The new development will cost more than one and a half million dollars.
The Khao-I-Dang redevelopment programme is typical of the projects under discussion at the United Nations Conference. On Monday (26 May) U.N. Secretary General Kurt Waldheim appealed for 181 million dollars for humanitarian aid to avert famine in Kampuchea and to help refugees in Thai territory. Belief agencies working in the area aim not only to ease hunger and provide medical supplies, but to end conditions that led people to leave home in search of the means of survival. Thailand is anxious to know when in influx will be reversed and the refugees can start returning to Kampuchea. But until a political solution can be found, United Nations aid associations and relief agencies can only try to alleviate the plight of millions of people in need of food, shelter and medical care.