The Burning of the Rice: A Cambodian Success Story
In April 1975 Ngak Chhay Heng and his family loaded their car with their personal possessions, pushed it 20 kilometers from Phnom Penh, discarded anything that differentiated them from peasant farmers, and disappeared under the dark shadow of the Khmer Rouge for three years, eight months and 20 days. For twelve of her 21 years Chan Phaloeun lived with war and tyranny. At the end of the Khmer Rouge period she was too ill to walk and had been expected to die. Yet in the next few years she graduated from university in Russia and became a key research leader helping to restore rice production in Cambodia. This book is about people and their challenges in rescuing Cambodia from famine. It is an inspiring example of how the lives of millions were permanently improved by relatively few 'aid dollars' when governments, aid agencies and NGOs co-operated. In less than fifteen years the starving nation learned to feed itself as a few expatriates and many Cambodians put their collective efforts to the task. This is their story, and as far as possible it is told in their own words.
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