INTRODUCTION: New food shortages in the troubled South East Asian country of Kampuchea are forcing international aid agencies to reconsider earlier plans to terminate their assistance.United Nations officials in the country had thought that the relief programme could be concluded at the end of the year.But poor harvests, largely attributable to unfavourable weather, have meant that international aid is as vital as ever.
VARIOUS LOCATIONS, KAMPUCHEA (VISNEWS - WALTER BURGESS)
GV Ship bringing UNICEF supplies from Singapore
GV UNICEF flag on ship
GV UNICEF sign on door of truck. GV truck being loaded
GV Ship being unloaded. Goods loaded onto trucks. (6 SHOTS)
GV Earth moving equipment
LV Existing chicken sheds and more being built in foreground
GV PAN Chickens in cages, chicks from Singapore
SV Incubators, man feeding chicks. (2 SHOTS)
GV Breeder chickens and roosters in shed
SV & CU Chickens and eggs in hatchery
SV Pigs in pens
GV Pigs and piglets (2 SHOTS)
GVs Floods in Kandal Province. (3 SHOTS)
LV ZOOM INTO GV & SV Women planting rice shoots. (3 SHOTS)
Background: INTRODUCTION: New food shortages in the troubled South East Asian country of Kampuchea are forcing international aid agencies to reconsider earlier plans to terminate their assistance.United Nations officials in the country had thought that the relief programme could be concluded at the end of the year.But poor harvests, largely attributable to unfavourable weather, have meant that international aid is as vital as ever.
SYNOPSIS: This ship is bringing United Nations aid from Singapore which is a major transit point for international assistance to South East Asia.
Kampuchea's recent bad rice harvest has resulted in many thousands of tons being shipped in.The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation estimate that the country will require over 150,000 tons of food aid, mostly rice, by the end of the year.This figure may have to be revised upwards if the current rainy season's rice crop is poor.The Vietnamese backed Phnom Penh government recently asked the United Nations to step up their aid programme.Many western observers though have expressed concern about how the supplies are used.They have argued that some of the aid, which includes vehicles and machinery, has been utilised in the continuing battle against anti-government forces.
For the majority of Kampucheans the overwhelming need is more food.These sheds are to house chickens flown in from Singapore.This egg farm is just outside the capital Phnom Penh.Condition in the hatches are carefully monitored to ensure maximum production.The sheds are heated by electric light bulbs suspended above the incubators and the chicks are fed regularly.
Breeder chickens and roosters have also been brought from Singapore to aid continuity of egg production.Aid organisations have donated large quantities of chicken mash and other equipment.More pens have been built to house further shipments of chicks and roosters expected soon.
Large groups of breeding pigs have also been set up.Animal medicines for the pig farms are provided by aid organisations.Despite the efforts of the UN and aid organisations, all projections of Kampuchean food production are much bleaker than in the past.
Drought and floods have ravaged many areas and the country's 12 most populous provinces are predicted to have food deficits.It is a serious setback in Kampuchea's recovery from the famine of 1979.Rice, corn and banana crops were wiped out.
Rice production continues but hopes are fading that international aid can be relaxed, and that Kampuchea can be taken off the world famine list.Western aid officials say an extension of the relief programme beyond this year appears likely.The West has provided 640-million dollars for Kampuchean relief in the past three years.The Soviet bloc made separate contributions.Aid sources say 20 million dollars more is needed to pay for the remainder of this year's programme and at least 100 million dollars for next year.
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