World Vision Cambodia
Press Release • Friday, May 6th 2016

Cambodian youth say “Don’t Stop Now!” end child malnutrition

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  • World Vision’s Child Health Now campaign is supporting youth to conduct community advocacy events in response to the 32% malnutrition rate in Cambodia
  • University students from 6 universities across Phnom Penh on 8th May, 2016 take part to ask world leaders including Cambodian government to put an end to child preventable deaths and child malnutrition with Sustainable Development Goal 2 and 3.
  • A first joint public event by university students across Phnom Penh is held at Olympic Stadium to create dialogue and discussion with the public on child malnutrition issues.

 

Phnom Penh, 06 May, 2016 – As part of World Vision’s Global Week of Action (4-10 May), university students from 6 universities across PhnomPenhare participating on 8th May in a public event that shed light on the 32% of Cambodian children who are malnourished and the actions needed urgently to reduce this number.

Students from Institution of Foreign Language of Royal University of Phnom Penh (IFL), Department of Media and Communication of Royal University of Phnom Penh (DMC), Phnom Penh International University (PPIU), America University of Phnom Penh (AUPP), Royal University of Law and Economic (RULE), and BELTEI University are using their winning Action Plan of Proposal Competition to organize a first ever joint-event to create dialogues and discussion with the public on the topics relating to child nutrition and best practice of infant and young child feeding. The event is responded to a concern that 32% of Cambodian children who are malnourished. The event is also purposely to celebrate Mother’s Day.

Child malnutrition is a critical issue to tackle if Cambodia is to continue making progress in other areas of child health and development, including preventing child death. According to the Cambodia Health Demographic Survey 2014 (CHDS), malnutrition rates have declined from 40% in 2010 (CHDS 2010) to 32% in 2014, however, this still represents one in every three children who will suffer the consequences of stunting.

“Child mortality has significantly declined in Cambodia, for which we are very thankful; however, malnutrition continues to put children at risk for poor physical and cognitive development, and also makes them more susceptible to other deadly diseases,” says World Vision National Director, Jason Evans. He adds, “One in every three children malnourished is still an urgent figure and is a critical issue for the future growth and prosperity of the country.”

Despite this event, from 4 – 10 May, youth in 10 provinces are encouraging the Royal Government of Cambodia at national and sub-national level to take more action and continue their commitment to reach zero children malnourished. Approximately 25,000 young people are expected to join these events which include face-to-face meetings between youth and Provincial Governors.

Jason Evans adds, “Cambodia must advocate for strong targets globally with an increased focus on the most vulnerable children – especially those who are severely malnourished. It’s also an opportunity for Cambodian citizens to make their voices heard to global leaders, as well as Cambodia’s leaders who have already demonstrated an increased prioritisation of malnutrition in recent years.” 

The causes of malnutrition in Cambodia are complex and numerous, requiring a multi-sector approach to address it. Key improvements are required to access to health care services, water and sanitation, hygiene, food security and education.

“Malnutrition is a problem that will affect economic and GDP growth due to high national health care costs and a less productive workforce,” says Lenin Vong, former Technical Specialist for Health Nutrition, adding that, “Stunted children are less likely to perform well in school, less resistant to infection and disease, and less likely to be wholly productive as adults.”

Global Week of Action is an opportunity for education and action and calls on the Royal Government of Cambodia to “Don’t Stop Now” and continues further actions that will improve child malnutrition and preventable child death across the Kingdom.

 

Notes to editor:

  • Event is being held from 4:30-7:00 PM on 8 May at Olympic Stadium.
  • Event is organized by University students from 6 universities across Phnom Penh with support from World Vision.

 

For event details, interviews, pictures or footage, please contact:

Suong Soksophea, Senior Campaign Manager – Child Health Now, World Vision

Tel: +855 12 712 609 or Email: soksophea_suong@wvi.org

Phearun Kuch, Media Officer, World Vision

Tel: +855 17 563 520 or Email: phearun_kuch@wvi.org