By Sok Lak
The Delegation of the European Union to Cambodia in collaboration with the Council for Agricultural and Rural Development, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and three of the EU-funded projects (CEDAC, HKI, WHH) on October 6 organized a Food Security Project Workshop “Improving Food Security – Lessons learned and challenges ahead”to put together the best experience and knowledge on how to address the cause and the consequences of absolute poverty “Food Insecurity”. H.E. Mr. Rafael Dochao Moreno, Chargé d’ Affaires a.i. of EU Delegation to Cambodia said that food insecurity is both a cause and a consequence of absolute poverty. “In reality, the poorest and vulnerable people such as the landless and small farmer are among the most chronically food-insecure.”
Rice field in Cambodia
Although Cambodia has made a remarkable economic growth in a past decade and achieve a surplus in rice production, there are still many Cambodians in different areas facing with food insecurity. “Food poverty has only fallen from 24 percent to 18 percent,” he stressed.
According to report from World Bank, 51 percent of children under-5 was moderately stunted while 28 percent were survey studded. “This means that a total of 79 percent of under-5 children were stunted to some degree,” he mentioned. CMDH report 2010 suggest that the percentage of children suffering from wasting increased from 8.4 percent in 2005 to 8.9 percent in 2008 which child mortality likewise is closely associated with food security and nutrition. “It is estimated that approximately 720,000 people have directly benefited from these EU-fund Food Security project.” In the sector of food security, the EU has granted over 23 million euro to NGOs and international organizations over the past five years. This money was used to implement 26 food security projects all over Cambodia. In 2010, an additional 2 million euro was donated to support Cambodia poor households that have limited opportunities for incoming generations in urban and urban areas.
Source: The Southeast Asia Weekly, October 8-15, 2011, Vol. 5, Issue 41, Page 7

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