Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Progress on UN SDGs limited in some areas

Progress on UN SDGs limited in some areas

A mother holds her infant child outside Phnom Penh’s Kantha Bopha Children’s Hospital in 2016. Cambodia has made moderate progress in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals to help improve the lives of children.
A mother holds her infant child outside Phnom Penh’s Kantha Bopha Children’s Hospital in 2016. Cambodia has made moderate progress in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals to help improve the lives of children. Hong Menea

Progress on UN SDGs limited in some areas

Despite making moderate progress, Cambodia needs to step up its efforts in nutrition, sanitation and ending domestic violence in order to reach its UN Sustainable Development Goals, according to a new report from Unicef.

The global report, released this week, ranks Cambodia a middling 86th out of 146 countries, estimating that there are about 2.2 million Cambodian children, or 38.4 percent, living in poverty.

That is slightly higher than the worldwide average of 37 percent, with the global goal of lowering that figure to 18 percent by 2030.

Cambodia was deemed to be “on track” for things like child mortality rates and reducing HIV infections in young people, but needs to “accelerate” its efforts to reach goals related to health and girls’ rights.

According to 2014 figures, 19 percent of women aged 20 to 24 were married or in a union before the age of 18, and 7 percent of women and girls aged 15 to 19 who had ever been in a relationship had been “subjected to physical, sexual or psychological violence by a current or former intimate partner”.

“While the adolescent birth rate decreased from 56 births per 1,000 adolescent girls aged 15-19 in 2000 to 44.1 in 2015 worldwide, it remains much higher in some regions,” the report reads. In Cambodia, it’s 57 births per 1,000 adolescent girls, but the latest figure is from 2013.

Gender and Development for Cambodia Executive Director Ros Sopheap said that a lack of sex education proved a challenge and that teenage pregnancies, at times, led parents to give their child permission to marry before the age of 18, as required by law.

“Girls could face with problems with their health – they are not ready to have a baby, they are not ready financially,” she said.

Meanwhile, Cambodia’s pre-valence of stunting (being below the average height for their age) and wasting (below the average weight for their height) under the age of 5 stood at 32 percent and 10 percent respectively.

Prime Minister Hun Sen earlier this month promised expectant mothers $50 to “combat malnutrition”.

The Unicef report noted outdated or inconsistent data could undermine the Sustainable Development Goals, saying that data should be seen “as the spine of system strengthening”.

Health Ministry spokesman Ly Sovann declined to comment on the report or child health, but maintained Cambodia’s response to outbreak of disease had improved in recent years.

MOST VIEWED

  • Cambodia unveils new quarantine regulations

    The government has modified Covid-19 quarantine requirements, shortening the duration for, among others, Cambodian officials, foreign diplomats and delegations, investors and inbound travellers in general. According to an official notice signed by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng late on October 16, quarantine length for Cambodian

  • Cambodia sets new Covid-19 quarantine rules

    The government has modified Covid-19 quarantine requirements, shortening the duration for, among others, Cambodian officials, foreign diplomats and delegations, investors and inbound travellers in general. According to an official notice signed by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng late on October 16, quarantine length for Cambodian

  • Hun Sen: Cambodia set to fully reopen

    Prime Minister Hun Sen concludes that the October 5-7 Pchum Ben public holiday, during which many people either flocked to their hometowns for family reunion or gathered at tourist attractions across the country, has not caused an outbreak of Covid-19. In a special address to

  • Cambodia resumes issuance of tourist visas

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has announced the resumption of its tourist visa and visa exemption programme after a long hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In a letter dated October 20 and addressed to foreign embassies and consulates, foreign minister Prak Sokhonn

  • S’ville set to turn into ‘second Shenzhen’

    The Ministry of Economy and Finance has awarded a master plan consultancy contract to top Chinese institute for the development and transformation of Preah Sihanouk province into a “Model Multi-Purpose Special Economic Zone”, Southeast Asia’s next logistics and resort hub and innovation centre. The

  • Health ministry issues SOP for travellers

    The Ministry of Health released their official Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) on October 20 for all travellers to Cambodia, with the specific instructions varying according to whether the traveller is fully vaccinated, partially vaccinated or unvaccinated. The SOP document is essentially identical to the updated quarantine