Up to 32% of children in Cambodia are malnourished. This means that 24% of Cambodian children are underweight and lack the vitamins and minerals they need to grow.
While much progress has been made to improve child nutrition, sustained conversations about how to support Cambodian families and children consume nutrient-rich meals are as important as ever.
Cambodia celebrated the 4th National Nutrition Day. On 1 November 2017, over 800 participants, including 18 NGOs; the Council for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) assembled at the Chaktomuk Theater in Phnom Penh to celebrate the occasion.
This year, the chosen theme was “Grow and Consume Diverse and Nutritious Food to be Strong and Healthy”.
His Excellency Yim Chhay Ly, Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the Council for Agricultural and Rural Development, has presided over the event for the past three years, facilitating conversation on themes including:
- “Better Nutrition for Better Life” (2014)
- “Breastfeeding is the Best Investment for Your Child’s Life” (2015)
- “Improved Hygiene and Nutrition Make Children Grow” (2016)
“I would like to express my profound thanks for the honourable guests, ladies and gentlemen, national and international distinguished guests, and members of the event, for your participation in this very significant day,” H.E Yim Chhay Ly said.
“This event aims to promote wider public awareness about the importance of agriculture in Cambodia”, H.E Yum Chhay Ly added. “The agriculture industry upholds national economic growth; ensures social equity and food security; improves nutrition; creates jobs; reduces migration; and generates incomes, which can improve living standards, reduce the poverty of farmers, and scale up rural economic development.”
Ms. Chan Lyninmakara, a student from the University of Health Sciences, also attended the event.
“This event is very good for me and for Cambodian people,” she said, “because it provides us with knowledge about the right nutrition for our health. After I finish my education, I expect to provide good healthcare to our people and to contribute to the improvement of the health sector.”
Even though the event has now concluded, you can still join the conversation and help us promote healthy nutrition practices. Remind your family and friends to feed children above six months old a variety of nutritious food to encourage healthy growth. You can even start a vegetable and fruit garden at home or in your community to share healthy foods with others.
Learn more about malnutrition in Cambodia by reading Child Health Now’s Policy Brief!