Cambodian Agricultural and Rural Development Council chairman Yim Chhayly and World Food Programme (WFP) country director in Cambodia Claire Anne Conan on Wednesday signed an agreement to continue their partnership on a four-year food programme (2020-2023).
Chhayly said at a signing ceremony that the WFP had always cooperated with the government and the Cambodian people since the country was at war.
“Over the past 41 years, WFP has assisted refugees along the Cambodian-Thai border. They were reunited with their families. It [WFP] has helped build and restore infrastructure in the countryside. It has helped children attend school, reduce starvation, malnutrition and other diseases.
“The WFP has also helped raise the country’s living standards and helped respond to floods and droughts which severely impacted citizens,” he said.
Chhayly added the WFP contributed to developments in the region and the world, and had helped formulate policies and offered training to officials in Cambodia.
WFP’s Conan said sufficient food supplies can bring about peace, especially amid the Covid-19 crisis.
“Recently, the WFP celebrated World Food Programme Day in Cambodia . . . We fight starvation which leads to malnutrition. Especially in the Covid-19 era, we see a number of people victimised by starvation.
“The WFP’s role is to join the world, especially Cambodia, to fight starvation and malnutrition. The WFP will also help improve food security and nutrition,” she said.
Conan said responding to food security and nutrition issues will be easier when there are more government mechanisms in place to combat the problems.
The overall expected outcome of this agreement, she said, is to strengthen the individual and institutional capacities of the Agricultural and Rural Development Council.
The first core goal is to establish and implement the 2nd National Strategy for Food Security and Nutrition 2020-2023.
The second goal is to strengthen multi-sectoral coordination at national and sub-national levels to organise food and nutrition sector.
Thirdly, the agreement will prioritise food security and nutrition in the plans of governmental institutions.
Lastly, the agreement will improve the sharing of information regarding the effective management of the food security and nutrition sectors.