Cambodia to Host Global Child Nutrition Forum in Siem Reap Next Month

AKP Phnom Penh, November 29, 2019 —

Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of Cambodia (MoEYS) in collaboration with UN World Food Programme Cambodia and the UN World Food Programme Regional Bureau in Bangkok will host the annual Global Child Nutrition Forum (GCNF) in Siem Reap province early next week.

The event to take place from Dec. 2 to 6, 2019 will be the first time that the international conference is held in the Asia region, a region that provides many examples of how school feeding programmes can act as a safety net for children, families, and the local community.

According to a joint press release, the Forum will provide an opportunity to focus on the experiences matured in the region and beyond, so that strengthened, well targeted, and nationally-owned school meal programmes and services, embedded in national education and social protection systems, are leveraged to advance more effective, inclusive and comprehensive policies which lead to enhanced food and nutrition security.

More than 350 leaders from 60+ countries will meet in an effort to help governments around the world build nutritious national school meal programmes that are locally sourced and country-operated. Participants will discuss the theme What we’re learning: Enhancing value and exploring challenges and good practices in school meal programme implementation.

The Global Child Nutrition Forum is a learning exchange and technical assistance conference designed to support countries in the development and implementation of school feeding programmes. Representatives of governments, NGOs, businesses, UN agencies, and academia are expected in Cambodia. The Forum is the largest annual international conference on school feeding in the world.

“The Forum aims to highlight issues related to child nutrition around the world, foster cooperation between nations, and encourage countries to develop and improve school nutrition programmes that return multiple benefits and address multiple Sustainable Development Goals,” remarked Ms. Arlene Mitchell, Executive Director of the Global Child Nutrition Foundation. “It is also a wonderful opportunity to raise public awareness about nutrition challenges facing children in all countries and to share experience and tools to address those challenges.”

The Forum is hosted in a different country each year, affording participants the opportunity to visit local schools and see one another’s programmes in action. In 2019, the Royal Government of Cambodia is offering participants the opportunity to visit schools and local farms to see first-hand Cambodia’s home-grown school feeding programme, which reaches 51,101 (26,706 girls) children in 267 schools in 7 provinces. MoEYS and its partners’ work to promote access to quality education, nutritious diets, and social assistance for children through school feeding programmes, which will be highlighted in this forum.

By Khan Sophirom