The Council for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) handed over more than 500 computer tablets to 25 capital and provincial authorities across the country. They will be used to survey the food security, nutrition, sanitation and clean water conditions of the public, in order to assist the authorities in creating alert systems and response measures.

The event took place on October 27 at the Council of Ministers’ headquarters, with representatives from across the country in attendance, as well as civil society organisations and development partners, under the support of GIZ through the MUSEFO project.

Sok Silo, CARD secretary-general, said the tablets would facilitate the implementation of food security data collection at the sub-national level, to provide updated data.

“CARD worked with GIZ, through the MUSEFO project, to provide 515 tablets to officials at the district level and target communes nationwide. This will support the working groups which are coordinating strategies to ensure food security and adequate nutrition,” he said.

The tablets were distributed according to the specific needs of each province. The provincial working group received 75 tablets, with 129 being distributed to local authorities in the 25 capital and provinces. 311 tablets were distributed to carefully selected commune authorities.

Yim Chhayly, CARD chairman, said the information collected would be analysed and compiled into a report, which would then be used to inform decision making.

He added that the MUSEFO project had made a significant contribution to reducing poverty and hunger in the Kingdom, particularly through its focus on improving food security and nutrition of children and women of reproductive age.

He said the project also provided training to districts across the country to integrate food security and nutrition into commune development plans, investment programmes and their immediate action plans. This fell in line with the government’s national strategy on food security and nutrition 2030.

“I urge the governors – and their representatives – of the capital and provinces to implement these recommendations, with the close cooperation of CARD,” he said.

Since 2020, CARD – in collaboration with provincial administrations and development partners, including GIZ, WFP, UNICEF, and the NGO network for nutrition in Cambodia that lead by the HKI – has established working group in almost all capital and provinces.

German ambassador to Cambodia, Stefan Anton Messerer, said that even after 2030, when Cambodia has reached its sustainable development goals, nutrition would remain an important issue. Even now, the Kingdom is facing a so-called double burden of malnutrition.

He added that while challenging under-nutrition trends was one side of the fight, there were also increasing obesity rates, especially amongst children. The concept of the challenge might change, but the focus remained to ensure a sufficient, diverse and healthy diet for all.

“Continued investment and tax adjustments might be needed to ensure food safety and promote healthy, safe and nutritious food, for example, when looking at street food vendors,” he said.