The government has unveiled four strategies to eliminate malnutrition in the country, especially among children.
Prime Minister Hun Sen is enlisting state institutes, partners and NGOs to join the fight to eliminate malnutrition as the country holds national nutrition day today.
Mr Hun Sen said the first strategy advocates more household or community crops, such as in gardens, schools or pagodas, to increase quantities and quality of food.
The second measure aims to promote broader raising of sustainable livestock to ensure the supply of meat and boost food safety.
The third encourages the protection and preservation of fisheries and to promote aquaculture development for domestic consumption and export.
Mr Hun Sen’s last strategy is to encourage people to consume diverse natural foods that are rich in nutrients, including fruit, fish, eggs and meat.
“Malnutrition is a burden for the government to take into account and it outlines clear strategies to address this issue in the future,” he said.
Unicef said the percentage of underweight children in Cambodia fell from 39 percent to 24 percent between 2000 and 2014, while the proportion suffering from chronic malnutrition fell from 50 percent to 32 percent.
Yet this means that one in four children are underweight, and one in three too short for their age, a clear sign of chronic malnutrition.
“Every child’s health matters to us. Investing in improving the nutrition status of children in Cambodia will yield long lasting results, not only to the children themselves but to the entire society. Let’s work together to realise our children’s healthy futures,” Unicef said.
The International Food policy Research Institute 2017 Global Hunger Index found the number of Cambodians going hungry fell between 2008 and this year.
The institute put the index for Cambodia at 27.1 in 2008 and 22.2 in 2017. These figures are compiled from statistics on undernourishment, child wasting, child stunting, and child mortality.
It also said Cambodia ranked 75th out of 119 countries on the global hunger index with “serious” hunger conditions, on par with Laos, Myanmar and Indonesia.