The people of Cambodia, particularly those living in the capital Phnom Penh are facing a crisis in the supply of food as supplies of food gradually dwindle and prices soar.
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Initials PBS/AS/OS/2255 PBS/AS/OS/23.22
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Background: The people of Cambodia, particularly those living in the capital Phnom Penh are facing a crisis in the supply of food as supplies of food gradually dwindle and prices soar. The situation is expected to be one of the most serious that will face the new republican government.
The position in Phnom Penh has been aggravated by the rapid increase in population in the past few months following fighting in rural areas. There are now nearly one and a half million people in Phnom Penh, twice and number of six months ago.
In anticipation of the crisis, the Cambodian government a month ago ordered an agricultural revolution around the city, and householders have been encouraged to begin keeping small numbers of poultry and grow vegetables. Fish supplies have been well maintained, and fish is now a major food in the diet of the people of the capital.
Some of the cited price rises are as high as 300% for pork and chicken. Fruit and vegetables have increased by up to 250% and rice has risen by 200%.
One of the dangers is that the people of the capital fear severs food shortages if Communist forces increase their stronghold on highways approaching Phnom Penh, virtually cutting off the city from agricultural areas outside.