Cambodian Prime Minister recognises crucial sanitation and hygiene links with nutrition on National Nutrition Day
On 3 November 2016, the third National Nutrition Day was celebrated in Cambodia with a workshop under the theme ” Improved Hygiene and Nutrition make Children Grow From Evidence to Impact”. The workshop was jointly organised by the Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC) through the Council for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) along with the Ministry of Rural Development and the Ministry of Health, in partnership with USAID, UNICEF, FAO, WFP, GIZ and the Scaling Up Nutrition Civil Society Alliance in Cambodia (SUN CSA Cambodia) coordinated by Helen Keller International (HKI), with support from Save the Children, Plan International, Action Against Hunger, Samaritan’s Purse, Medical Teams International, Malteser International, GSF and WSSCC.
Living without proper sanitation and hygiene is one of the factors contributing to malnutrition, specifically stunting and wasting in children, as well as fatality in some serious cases,”
Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia.
Samdech Hun Sen calls on all stakeholders and partners dedicated to improving WASH, health, and nutrition in Cambodia to work together and to:
- continue adhering to the implementation of the policies, strategies, and plans outlined by the government;
- improve inter-sectoral cooperation and collaboration among relevant stakeholders at the national and sub-national level;
- expand awareness on the importance and benefits of good hygiene and sanitation practices and encourage social and behavior change; and
- continue the implementation of suitable monitoring and evaluation mechanisms to ensure effective and efficient integrated programmes.
At the event, Polly Dunford, Mission Director of USAID Cambodia shared that through the Feed the Future initiative, USAID is a proud partner of the Government of Cambodia in the fight against stunting. By working together, they are focusing efforts on the first 1,000 days of Cambodian children’s lives, building resilience, increasing economic productivity, and advancing the country’s development.
It is untreatable, and stunting can be very harmful to children – impairing their mental development and educational performance and leading to lower wages and lost productivity later in life. But it is also preventable. It requires us to act within the first 1,000 days of life – from conception to two years old. Stunting is the result of an array of complex factors. These include food insecurity and inadequate nutrition. The lack of access to quality health services – particularly child care – is also an important cause. Inadequate access to water, sanitation, and hygiene all play a part in this, too. But it also depends on where you live. There are significant differences in access between children in urban and rural areas of the country. As you can imagine, the same applies to children in the highest wealth quintile compared to children in the poorest wealth quintile. Winning the battle against stunting calls for a multi-sectoral response.
Polly Dunford, Mission Director, USAID Cambodia.
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