The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (MoEYS) has pledged to spend $4 million this year to provide food to school children by using community-based agricultural products to promote nutrition and education in areas of high poverty and vulnerability.
According to a statement published on March 13, the program aims to improve the nutrition and education of children in poorer and more vulnerable areas by contributing to increased enrollment, and reduced dropout rates in primary level, as well as participate in promoting community economy.
The statement added that the $4 million will also be used to pay cooks and targeted schools will be set out by the MoEYS and the Ministry of Economy and Finance.
The program will be implemented in 427 schools across the 10 provinces of Battambang, Banteay Meanchey, Kampong Cham, Siem Reap, Kampong Thom, Stung Treng, Preah Vihear, Oddar Meanchey, Kampong Chhnang, and Pursat, benefiting 110,645 students, according to Social Protection in Cambodia’s Facebook Page.
Pa Chanroeun, president of Cambodian Institute for Democracy, said on Wednesday that the program will resolve the lack of nutrition to Cambodian children.
“It also promotes raw materials, especially local agricultural products, but if we want to practice and follow this policy effectively, it demands higher responsibility,” Chanroeun said.
“Firstly, using local nutrition products and secondly, care should be taken on implementation without corruption, especially more than providing children with nutrition. The Ministry of Education and relevant authorities should prevent and eliminate processed food at school, and all of this food will affect children's health. Do these two things and make sure they are healthy,” he added.