Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - PM announces oil-food equation hurting poor

PM announces oil-food equation hurting poor

PM announces oil-food equation hurting poor


Women buy meat at a market in Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district. Prime Minister Hun Sen blamed rising food prices on high fuel prices during a speech yesterday. Photograph: Will Baxter/Phnom Penh Post

Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday blamed soaring food prices on fuel prices set by oil cartels like OPEC, appealing to oil-producing countries to pay attention to the connection between food security and energy.

Cambodia imports 100 per cent of its oil, and the majority of agriculture production is dependent on fuel, he said, expressing concern over recent data that showed 80 per cent of food producers in Cambodia would increase prices in order to match jumps in fuel costs.

“If we increase food prices to balance with fuel prices, it would cause people to die. This is a big issue,” said Hun Sen at the opening of the Food Security and Nutrition Seminar, hosted by the government in partnership with the UN, USAID and NGO Caritas.

Speaking to approximately 500 representatives from the government and civil society, the premier said oil-producing countries had never considered how to bring food and energy security into harmony.

“This is an initiative of the Cambodian Prime Minister, and I will appeal to the world to pay strong attention to make food and energy security in harmony through food and fuel prices.

“I think that through the representatives of the FAO and [the World Food Programme] these initiatives should be taken up for debate,” he said.

Cambodia is among the 20 worst countries globally for child malnutrition, according to a fact sheet released at the seminar that labels it “one of the biggest health problems that Cambodia is currently facing”.

Despite successes in reducing maternal and under-five mortality, improvements in nutrition have stagnated in the past five years, said Council for Agricultural and Rural Development chairperson and deputy prime minister Yim Chhay Ly in a press release.

WFP country director Jean-Pierre de Margerie agreed certain nutrition indicators had stalled, likely due to high food prices that hit the country in 2007 and 2008.

“The poor spend their majority of income on food, so they are vulnerable to fluctuations in food prices,” he said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Vong Sokheng at [email protected]


  • Breaking: PM says prominent human rights NGO ‘must close’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has instructed the Interior Ministry to investigate the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) and potentially close it “because they follow foreigners”, appearing to link the rights group to the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party's purported “revolution”. The CNRP - the

  • Rainsy and Sokha ‘would already be dead’: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday appeared to suggest he would have assassinated opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha had he known they were promising to “organise a new government” in the aftermath of the disputed 2013 national elections. In a clip from his speech

  • Massive ceremony at Angkor Wat will show ‘Cambodia not in anarchy’: PM

    Government officials, thousands of monks and Prime Minister Hun Sen himself will hold a massive prayer ceremony at Angkor Wat in early December to highlight the Kingdom’s continuing “peace, independence and political stability”, a spectacle observers said was designed to disguise the deterioration of

  • PM tells workers CNRP is to blame for any sanctions

    In a speech to workers yesterday, Prime Minister Hun Sen pinned the blame for any damage inflicted on Cambodia’s garment industry by potential economic sanctions squarely on the opposition party. “You must remember clearly that if the purchase orders are reduced, it is all