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People beg for food on the streets of Phnom Penh. KT/Fabien Mouret
Gov’t Commits to Ending Hunger
Khmer Times/Ven Rathavong
Wednesday, 04 May 2016
The government and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) launched a national action plan on Tuesday as part of the Zero Hunger Challenge to eliminate hunger in Cambodia by 2025.
Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the Council for Agriculture and Rural Development Yim Chhay Ly said that thanks to the scheme, the government’s 2025 goal is in sight.
“We commit that we have enough possibility to end hunger – it means that we aim to reach zero hunger by 2025,” he said.
Mr. Chhay Ly pointed out that the action plan is designed as a road map and is supplemented by the government’s strategies and policies.
The challenge has five pillars including 100 percent access to adequate nutritional intake, zero percent of stunting in children less than two years of age, completely sustainable food systems, 100 percent in smallholder productivity and income and zero loss or waste of food.
Mr. Chhay Ly said the agriculture Ministry is responsible for implementing four of these pillars, with the zero stunted children pillar to be overseen by the health ministry.
He added that the government will cooperate with NGOs to achieve the goal and believes the two ministries can achieve this.
Assistant Director-General of FAO Regional Office for Asia Pacific Kundhavi Kadiresan said her organization and the UN will continue to help and support the government in order to eliminate hunger in Cambodia.
Ms. Kadiresan said there is enough political will within the government, and if the initiative is fully funded with appropriate coordination and monitoring, there is a good chance of achieving the 2025 target.
“I commend the government for making this commitment. We are optimistic and will be working closely with the deputy prime minister and the other sector ministries to make this a reality,” she said.
Ms. Kadiresan said about two million Cambodians suffered from malnutrition and hunger in 2014, based on Cambodia’s poverty line.