History in the Making: Cambodia to Host 21st Global Child Nutrition Forum

AKP Phnom Penh, June 14, 2019—

Siem Reap province is getting ready to host the 21st Global Child Nutrition Forum in December this year expecting participation of experts and delegates from some 40 countries across the world.

The news was shared by Education, Youth and Sport Under-Secretary of State H.E. San Vathana when leading a delegation recently to examine the preparations for the forum at the province.

Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, he added, will organise the child nutrition forum in cooperation with the Global Child Nutrition Foundation (GCNF) and the Centre of Excellence against Hunger of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP).

According to the note on its page, GCNF thanked the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport for being the host, stressing that “it will be the first time in its history that the forum is held in Southeast Asia region.”

“Forum brings together those interested in school feeding and child nutrition programs, including representatives of government offices, companies, international organizations, NGOs, academic institutions, and many others,” it wrote.

GCNF continued that, “The Forum encourages open dialogue and the sharing of experiences, best practices, lessons, challenges, and options to sustainably support nutritious, home-grown school meal programs.”

Based on the World Food Programme in Cambodia, “A 2017 Cost of Diet analysis suggests that 21 percent of households in Cambodia may be unable to afford a nutritious diet. Around half a million children under 5 are stunted, or small for their age, due to inadequate nutrition.”

“This occurs more in rural communities than urban areas, largely due to disparities in access to clean water and sanitation. Two thirds of children aged 6 months to 2 years lack adequate nutritious food, and malnutrition contributes to an infant mortality rate of 35 per 1,000 live births.”

Understanding the situation, the Royal Government of Cambodia is placing promotion of child nutrition as a national priority, following by formulation of policies and guidelines to work with all concerned stakeholders to address it.

The 21st Global Child Nutrition Forum in December is seen as another positive move for Cambodia to further improve the effectiveness of the intervention.

By Mc Soleil