Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Gov’t, WFP launch new plan to tackle nation’s malnutrition

Gov’t, WFP launch new plan to tackle nation’s malnutrition

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A woman feeding her child in Ratanakkiri province on January 30. Plan International Cambodia

Gov’t, WFP launch new plan to tackle nation’s malnutrition

The Cambodian government and the World Food Programme (WFP) launched an initiative on July 14 aimed at improving nutrition in the Kingdom as malnutrition and micronutrient-deficiencies are lingering burdens affecting a significant percentage of the population.

In a press release, the WFP said that today saw the launch of the SUN Business Network Cambodia (SBN), a “bold new programme” which it said brings together some of the most forward-thinking private businesses in the food sector to accelerate progress in nutrition across the country.

The network has been established by the Council for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) with support from the WFP to encourage collaboration and mutual support among the private sector, business associations, government, civil society and Cambodia’s development partners to sustainably contribute to healthy diets and practices.

Twenty businesses have already signed up to the SBN as founding members.

The press release added that despite Cambodia’s economic gains in recent years, malnutrition is still harming the population with 10 per cent of children under five years old suffering from wasting and 32 per cent suffering from stunted growth as recently as 2014.

“We’re proud of the progress made in the last decade in improving nutrition, especially for women and children,” said CARD secretary-general Sok Silo.

He added that Cambodian businesses have an indispensable role in improving the quality of the food available to Cambodians. He hoped that the launch of SBN would show how much businesses value that role.

WFP country director Claire Conan said she is grateful that the government established this network and that she looks forward to working with its members.

“We believe that improving the nutritional content of food products is a win-win for the consumer and the business since offering improved nutrition creates opportunities for businesses to differentiate themselves and increase sales and profits,” she said.

Leang Leng, the owner of an eponymous fish and soy sauce producer and one of SBN founding members, said: “I believe the SBN will generate lots of new ideas and connections while educating the public about the importance of nutrition. This will generate higher demand.”

According to the press release, the establishment of the SBN is a major new milestone for the country towards its goal of eliminating malnutrition in Cambodia by 2030 because it harnesses the crucial role that the private sector can play in improving nutrition while contributing to sustainable economic development.

Over 100 participants from the government, WFP and businesses attended the launch event to discuss how they can work together to improve nutrition in the Kingdom.

Part of the discussion centred on the “five strategic pillars of the SBN vision”, a plan that entails developing a strong SBN brand, increasing nutrition awareness and demand, increasing the supply of nutritious foods and fortified products, strengthening the enabling environment for improved nutrition and promoting health and nutrition in communities and the workplace.


  • Hun Sen gets Covid, shuns G20, APEC summits

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said he has tested positive for Covid-19 in Indonesia, where he is slated to attend the G20 summit in his capacity of the ASEAN chair. In a social media post addressing the Cambodian public, he said: “Before leaving Cambodia, I always

  • Hong Kong firm done buying Coke Cambodia

    Swire Coca-Cola Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hong Kong-listed Swire Pacific Ltd, on November 25 announced that it had completed the acquisition of The Coca-Cola Co’s bottling business in Cambodia, as part of its ambitions to expand into the Southeast Asian market. Swire Coca-Cola affirmed

  • Moody’s sets outlook rating to ‘negative’ for Cambodia

    US global rating agency Moody’s Investors Service Inc on November 15 announced that it downgraded Cambodia’s outlook from “stable” to “negative” and maintained its B2 local and foreign currency issuer ratings. “The negative outlook reflects a deteriorating external position as illustrated by the severe

  • Korean first lady paves way for ill boy’s surgery

    A 14-year-old boy with congenital heart disease who was lucky enough to meet with South Korean first lady Kim Keon-hee may get the chance of a lifetime and receive surgery and treatment at Asan Medical Center in Seoul, South Korea. After seeing his plight, many

  • Hun Sen’s Covid infection caused by ‘weakened antibody’ after summit

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said exhaustion from heavy workload before and during the recent ASEAN Summit may have led to him contracting Covid-19 due to his weakened immune system, while rejecting speculations that the infection was caused by leaders of some countries who did not

  • Kingdom’s rice crowned world’s No1

    Cambodia’s Phka Rumduol jasmine variety has been crowned the World’s Best Rice for the fifth time at the TRT (The Rice Trader) World Rice Conference in Phuket, Thailand on November 17, according to leaders of the Kingdom’s apex rice industry body. Phka Rumduol