Your Venerable Monks,
Your Excellencies, Lok Oknhas,
Staffs and Volunteers of Cambodian Red Cross,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Today I have great honor and pleasure to join with Your Venerable Monks, Your Excellencies, Lok Oknha, Benevolent People, Ladies and Gentlemen in the ground breaking ceremony for the construction of the Cambodian Red Cross’s new office building.
On behalf of the Royal Government of Cambodia, I am sincerely enthusiast and highly appreciative for the efforts made by the Cambodian Red Cross, which started the operation from empty hands until obtaining a lot of achievements so far. Now, it is able to build a new office building in order to facilitate its daily works. The building reflects another new progress of the Cambodian Red Cross in fulfilling its works to elevate the welfare of people in our beloved country.
On this auspicious occasion, please allow me to recall the history of Cambodia Red Cross. Actually, the Cambodian Red Cross was born since 1955 aiming at contributing and reducing misery of the Cambodian. In the genocidal regime of Democratic Kampuchea, the organization was abolished. After liberating from the genocidal regime, the Cambodian Red Cross was re-born on the 16 May 1979 aiming at seeking assistances and funds all over the world to help Cambodian people that have survived from that genocidal regime. The contribution of the Cambodian Red Cross at that time is an outreach contribution in reducing the death and wide-spread of transmission diseases of the empty-hand Cambodian.
Now, Cambodia Red Cross still assists the Royal Government and becomes an effective agency of the government in providing charity services to Cambodian by helping the Royal Government in order to reduce incidences and address issues related to natural disasters. The support of the Cambodian Red Cross actively contributes to the poverty reduction. Even though the war in Cambodia have been finished, the misery of Cambodian still continues, especially poverty from disasters that have frequently occurred.
The Royal Government clearly understands these challenges and does all its best so far as a lot of achievements have been successfully made such as the high economic growth, poverty reduction and infrastructure development. In the past 10 years, Cambodia achieved 7% economic growth per annum and reached 13.1% in 2005. Such growth is contributed by the high growth in export-oriented industries, tourism, construction boom and agriculture sector, in which the Royal Government’s investment in irrigation system is producing a proudly fruitful result. At the same time, the growth is also resulted from the good monetary and fiscal policies that bring more national budgets. The economic growth reduced poverty rate from 47% to 35%.
Indeed, such achievements cannot be attained without the support from the Cambodian Red Cross which currently helps reducing the burden of the Royal Government by mobilizing funds and contributions from charity organizations and benevolent people domestically and internationally to help vulnerable people. Such activities actively contributed to the implementation of polices of the Royal Government of Cambodia in poverty reductions and socio-economic development.
Taking this propitious occasion, I highly appreciate the strategic action plan of the Cambodian Red Cross 2003-2010 with the participation form all milieus and vision to contribute to poverty reduction as well as protecting humanitarian value of the vulnerable people. Actually, the culture of mutual-help is our national identity inherited long time ago. We usually help each other during hard time and this is a great value of us.
At the same time, on behalf of the Royal Government, I deeply thank all benevolent people that contributed and donated to the construction of this building. The donations clearly manifested mutual love and help among the same nationality in order to raise the living standard and prosperity of the whole nation as well as contributing to the rehabilitation of the national infrastructure.
Before closing, I would take the opportunity on behalf of the Royal Government and people of Cambodia to express my sincere thanks to friendly countries, development partners and all international organizations that have materially and spiritually supported the Cambodian Red Cross as well as Cambodian in the efforts to develop the economic and social development in Cambodia, which results in gradual progress, especially the progress of the Cambodian Red Cross serves as evidence.
I strongly believe that with a strategic and appropriate leadership of the Cambodian Red Cross and efforts made by the management and staffs at all levels, with the new building and support from all development partners, the Cambodian Red Cross will attain further successes in poverty reduction and promoting development of the country to be prosperous in the future.
Finally, I would like to wish all of you with good health, happiness and receive more successes in your works and I would declare the opening of the ground-breaking ceremony to build the Cambodian Red Cross’s new building from now on.