The Joint Programme for Children, Food Security and Nutrition is a three-year Joint Programme designed to improve food security and reduce under-nutrition among children, pregnant women, and lactating mothers.
The Joint Programme, to be implemented between 2010 and 2012, was developed in close consultation between Government Ministries, UN agencies and other relevant stakeholders. The Programme will be piloted in two provinces, Svay Rieng and Kampong Speu, considered by the World Food Programme to be ‘chronically food-insecure’, and a nationwide mass media campaign on infant and young child feeding and iron/folate for pregnant and postpartum women will be undertaken. Lessons learned will be used to scale up the Programme across the country.
Funding for the Programme is provided by the Spanish government through the Global MDG Achievement Fund, a fund that aims to accelerate progress towards achievement of the MDGs in selected countries. US$5 million has been allocated for this three-year programme.
The joint approach will build on existing experiences of government, NGOs and several UN agencies in implementing nutrition and food security programmes and will work with current initiatives to ensure coordination at both national and provincial levels. The Joint Programme focuses on strengthening implementation of existing policies, as well as developing new policies specifically addressing malnutrition. It also aims to establish an integrated food security and nutrition monitoring system in Cambodia.
The Joint Programme will contribute to the achievement of national targets for Cambodia’s Millennium Development Goals 1, 4 and 5, namely to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, reduce child mortality and improve maternal health. The Programme will also contribute to achieving other national strategic development goals, including those set out in the country’s first National Nutrition Strategy and the Strategic Framework for Food Security and Nutrition in Cambodia.
Background: Children and nutrition in Cambodia
Levels of maternal and child under-nutrition are considerably high in Cambodia. Poverty, food insecurity, inadequate knowledge and poor nutrition and feeding practices are the main causes of malnutrition among women and children in the country.
Despite good progress over the last few years in reducing the maternal and under-five mortality rate, these still remain too high. The national under-five mortality rate has dropped from 124 in 2000 to 54 in 2010 and the maternal mortality rate has dropped from a rate of 472 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2005 to 206 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2010.
The 2010 Cambodian Demographic and Health Survey showed that 28% of children are underweight. 40% of children are stunted and Cambodia ranks among the 20 worst countries globally for child malnutrition. Some of these statistics indicate stagnation, even reversal, in progress made in recent years. Poor nutrition prevents children from developing to their full potential and leads to reduced cognitive ability in adult life and this impacts a country’s human resources as much as its opportunities for economic growth.
The Joint Programme includes nationwide comprehensive behaviour change communications for breastfeeding, complementary feeding and iron/folic acid supplementation for pregnant and postpartum women, and an integrated and comprehensive package of nutrition and food security interventions.
The Joint Programme for Children, Food Security and Nutrition will be implemented jointly by government agencies: the Council for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD), the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, the Ministry of Information, and UN Agencies: United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), World Health Organization (WHO), World Food Programme (WFP), Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the International Labour Organization (ILO) and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).
For more information about the Joint Programme, visit the CARD website: http://foodsecurity.gov.kh/mdgjointprograme
In addition, The Cambodia Food Security and Nutrition Quarterly Bulletin aims to provide decision makers with regular overview of trends and emerging threats relating to food and nutrition security in Cambodia. It is a collaborative effort between the Council for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD), the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF), the Ministry of Water Resource and Meteorology (MoWRAM), the Ministry of Planning (MoP)/National Institute od Statistic (NIS), the Ministry of Health (MoH) and the National Center for Disaster Management (NCDM) with technical support from the World Food Programme, (WFP), the EC‐FAO Food Security Programme, UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO), and with financial support from the MDG Achievement Fund of the Joint Programme for Children, Food Security and Nutrition in Cambodia. The bulletins can be found here: www.foodsecurity.gov.kh/bulletin