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Wins harder to come by in hunger fight

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A woman and her son wash dishes on the side of a dirt road at Srah Chak commune in Phnom Penh’s Daun Penh district in 2013. Hong Menea

Wins harder to come by in hunger fight

Progress in the battle to eradicate hunger has slowed in Cambodia, as well as in other countries in Asia and the Pacific, according to a report by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization.

While the Kingdom saw an average annual rate of 8.9 percent reduction in undernourishment from 1999 to 2004, that number dipped 3.5 percent from 2010 to 2015, the new report shows.

While the new study concedes that rates are bound to slow after early significant progress, it also maintains that higher food prices can “significantly increase the rate of undernourishment”.

Almost 40 percent of children under 5 in Cambodia are malnourished, per the World Bank.

The Kingdom and the rest of the region must renew commitments to tackle the problem in order to meet the zero-hunger goal by 2030, the study concludes. “Despite good progress being made by many countries in tackling malnutrition, the overall rate of progress is less than desired. There are several countries . . . where the prevalence rates are still very high.”

Officials with the Food and Agriculture Organization didn’t return requests for comment.

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