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WFP launches Cambodia Food Security Atlas - a critical tool against hunger

The World Food Programme (WFP) has launched an updated, on-line food-security map of Cambodia, identifying areas of

I am hopeful the atlas will improve the handling of hunger in Cambodia by serving as an important reference in formulating the right kind of interventions
Thomas Keusters, WFP Country Director in Cambodia
vulnerability and showing where improvement has taken place and where more intervention is needed.

"This gives us a far clearer picture of where we need to target our assistance,” said Thomas Keusters, WFP Country Director in Cambodia.

“It illustrates the fact that food security goes far beyond sufficient food production, but is affected by poverty, maternal health, access to clean water and health services, as well as shocks such as natural disasters and other socio-economic vulnerability.”

Collective challenge

The WFP Food Security Atlas shows that attaining food security for all continues to be a collective challenge, despite Cambodia’s impressive economic and food security achievements in the recent past.

Levels of food insecurity and vulnerability vary substantially by geographic region and by social group within Cambodia.

It identifies vulnerable areas, primarily due to high malnutrition rates, especially in the 10 “hot spot” provinces of Kampong Spueu, Kampong Thum, Mondol Kiri, Odar Mean Chey, Pursat, Preah Vihear, Prey Veang, Rotanakiri, Siem Reab and Stung Treng.

Important reference

“I am hopeful the atlas will improve the handling of hunger in Cambodia by serving as an important reference in formulating the right kind of interventions. As Cambodia faces new challenges such as climate change, changes in food availability, high energy prices, globalisation, and many more, we all need to strategise better,” Keusters said.

The atlas was produced by WFP Cambodia in close collaboration with the Council for Agriculture and Rural Development (CARD) of the Royal Government of Cambodia. The major updates of this year’s atlas result from the inclusion of the results of the Socio Economic survey of 2004 and Demographic Health survey of 2005.

Also the structure has been improved to allow an easier access to the analysis and recommendation sections of the document.

Good cooperation

“Improving food security and nutrition is a development priority of the Royal Government of Cambodia. Our challenge is to have good cooperation and efficient coordination mechanisms linking a wide range of stakeholders.

The online atlas will be one of the useful tools to help us guide the process” said Tao Seng Huor, Senior Minister, Vice Chairman of CARD.

The atlas aims to:

(i) provide the current food security situation in Cambodia according to the three dimensions of food security, namely food availability, access and utilisation;

(ii) present a situational analysis of provinces and municipalities in terms of the seriousness of the problem, and

(iii) highlight major issues of concern, as well as recommendations for improving food security in Cambodia.

This web atlas is integrated into the CARD website, which provides users with ready access to food security information in Cambodia.

The recent CARD web statistics of December 2007 showed over 11,500 visits - a clear sign that the issue is of interest to the development stakeholders in the country.