The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and the World Food Programme (WFP) have signed a $50 million aid plan aimed to improve food security and nutrition.
The Cambodia Country Strategic Plan 2019-2023 was approved by the WFP council on February 27 in Italy.
WFP Cambodia country director Francesca Erdelmann said during the signing ceremony at the ministry that WFP would continue to collaborate with the government over the next five years to enhance the capacity to provide social services and improve the food security system at the national and sub-national levels.
The plan will also reduce the risk of a food crisis.
She said WFP would work closely with the government, UN agencies, civil society organisations, NGOs, educational institutions and the private sector to implement its targets.
“I am truly confident that a budget of $50 million is necessary to implement the Cambodia Country Strategic Plan 2019-2023, as is the continued support of the government for our programmes in Cambodia."
“I believe we can work together over the next five years. WFP will work twice as hard to contribute to development in Cambodia,” she said.
The ministry’s secretary of state Luy David said the Kingdom has successfully achieved sustainable economic growth for the past two decades and reached World Bank “lower-middle income country” status in 2016.
He said despite great strides in economic growth, there was still an imbalance in socio-economic growth, which prevented people from receiving adequate nutrition. Food security and malnutrition can very quickly lead to a food crisis and the breakdown of food systems.
“On behalf of the Cambodian government, Erdelmann and I recently signed a letter of agreement between the government and the UN’s World Food Programme for 2019-2023 because the food security issue was a pressing one that needed to be addressed.
“Not only in Cambodia, but in other nations around the world, there is a focus on this issue,” David said.
The WFP official website says it has five priority targets, including helping Cambodia’s vulnerable communities access and afford nutritional food at a reasonable price.
Additional targets include enhancing the capacity of national and sub-national authorities to implement, develop and reach the food security target in 2030, and finding humanitarian partners in the Kingdom with the ability to offer their service chain throughout the year.