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 to waive quarantine requirements Nov 15, no PCR test required

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has decided to lift all quarantine requirements for fully vaccinated travellers and visitors – both Cambodians and foreign nationals – effective from November 15 onward. In a special message addressed to officials and relevant authorities on November 14, Hun Sen said this policy will enable

  • PM: No more quarantine for vaccinated travellers

    Cambodia is lifting all quarantine requirements for vaccinated inbound travellers entering Cambodia by air, waterway or land border checkpoints effective from November 15. Travellers will be required to take a rapid antigen test on arrival rather than waiting for the results of the lengthier polymerase chain

  • No payment required for travellers taking rapid Covid tests on arrival

    Ministry of Health officials said there would be no payment required for the rapid Covid-19 tests given to travellers who arrive in Cambodia from November 15 onwards after the quarantine requirement is lifted for fully vaccinated people. Health ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine told The Post on

  • General’s gun smuggling ring busted

    The Military Police sent six military officers to court on November 22 to face prosecution for possession of 105 illegal rifles and arms smuggling, while investigators say they are still hunting down additional accomplices. Sao Sokha, deputy commander of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces and commander of

  • More Cambodians studying in US

    The number of Cambodian students studying at US colleges and universities in 2020-21 increased by 14.3 per cent over the previous year despite the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a recent US government report. The 2021 Open Doors report on International Educational Exchange showed that 848 Cambodian students studied

  • Cambodia, Thailand to discuss border reopening

    Cambodian authorities from provinces along the Cambodia-Thailand border will meet with Thai counterparts to discuss reopening border checkpoints to facilitate travel, transfer of products and cross-border trade between the two countries. Banteay Meanchey provincial deputy governor Ly Sary said on November 22 that the provincial administration