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Cambodia makes progress in reducing hunger

Publication Date : 10-10-2012


Cambodia is making progress in meeting the UN Millennium Development Goals with the proportion of undernourished people plunging by 57 per cent over the past 20 years, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said yesterday.

The figures are contained in the annual State of Food Insecurity in the World report by the FAO, the International Fund for Agricultural Development and the World Food Programme.

Released in Rome yesterday, the report by the UN agencies said the proportion of undernourished Cambodians fell from 39.9 per cent of the total population in the 1990-1992 period to 17.1 per cent in 2010-2012.

Undernourishment in Cambodia is now lower than in Laos (27.8 per cent) and around the same level as the Philippines (17.0 per cent). among other Asean nations, undernourishment rates were lower at 9.0 per cent in Vietnam, 8.6 per cent in Indonesia, 7.3 per cent in Thailand and less than 5.0 per cent in Malaysia.

The report noted that Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam had all made progress in meeting MDG targets for 2015. Laos and Philippines were found to have made little progress, however. The three other Asean members, Brunei, Singapore and Myanmar were not mentioned.

The report also featured Cambodia's national social protection strategy, noting that "an increasing number of governments" are using such contributory micro-insurance schemes.

"The recent national social protection strategy development by the Cambodian government prioritises provision of safety nets for the poor and vulnerable but also includes community-based health insurance requiring financial contributions by the poor as one part of social protection," it said.

"Social protection is crucial for accelerating hunger reduction," the report said, noting that it can protect the most vulnerable who do not benefit from economic growth.

Structured properly, "it can also contribute directly to more rapid economic growth through human resource development and strengthened ability of the poor, especially smallholders, to manage risks and adopt improved technologies with higher productivity."


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