In 2011, more than 200 people died in Cambodia due to flooding, with most of the victims being children. Around the country, villagers had their homes destroyed by the floods, or had to abandon them to find higher ground or construct new buildings on stilts to take refuge. Schools and pagodas became evacuation centres for hundreds of families, and livestock was moved to the little remaining dry patches of land – in many cases cluttering busy roads. Villagers complained that not enough aid was provided, leaving them vulnerable to hunger and disease. Out of Cambodia’s 23 provinces, 17 were affected along the Mekong and Tonle Sap rivers. The Cambodian government estimated that about 190-thousand hectares of rice fields were destroyed, and according to the National Committee for Disaster Management 1.2 million people were affected by the flooding. International humanitarian organizations struggled to raise enough funds to deal with the extent of the problem, having to limit their aid to help the very poorest.
In August 2011, Nicolas was commissioned by UNICEF to document the extent of the flooding in Prey Veng province and the disaster relief, visiting villages that had been cut off from access to basic needs.