Floating Villages Face Starvation in Cambodia

By Send Relief Staff

This past year, water levels in rural regions of Cambodia have been at their lowest recorded in the last 15 years and have remained low for much longer than normal.

This drought has had a significant impact on the Cambodian floating villages—boating communities which have built their homes on the surface of inland bodies of water after being pushed to the margins of societies because of ethnic or economic disparities.

The families of these floating villages rely on fishing as their main source of income, but due to the drastic loss of water, they have been going hungry for the better part of a year. This community is already severely isolated—miles from the nearest city and hospital—and suffers from high levels of debt. The unexpected loss of their livelihoods only pushed them deeper into seclusion and poverty.

While members of the local church attempted to help by purchasing supplemental food for many families, water levels continued to recede, limiting fishing opportunities and leaving the village structures sunken in mud.

In partnership with national leaders and churches, Send Relief was able to help nearly 600 families—almost 3,000 people—across four of these floating villages gain access to over 9 tons of food!

Volunteer teams were able to show compassion to these families by meeting their physical needs without creating dependency, and by taking healthcare professionals along with them, they also assisted in creating relationships and identifying medical issues plaguing this community. By the end of the project, every family made contact with local believers and a window has opened for the gospel to be shared regularly.

One recipient shared that her family had just run out of rice and wasn’t allowed to purchase anything on credit from the marketplace due to severe debt. Local stores were rapidly running out of supplies as the community’s resources dwindled, and they were getting desperate by the time Send Relief arrived with rations. With heartfelt thankfulness, she told a distribution leader, “God is good, and He will meet our needs at the right time.”

Today, water levels are on the rise, and these families are hopeful at the prospect of regaining their livelihoods! Thank you for caring for communities who would otherwise go overlooked.

Give food to hurting families today!

Help other communities in need survive.



Published May 21, 2021

Send Relief Staff