Remarks by Polly Dunford, Mission Director, USAID Cambodia, Food Security and Nutrition Technical Working Group

Monday, November 28, 2016
Polly Dunford, Mission Director, USAID Cambodia, speaking at the Food Security and Nutrition Technical Working Group.
Polly Dunford, Mission Director, USAID Cambodia, speaking at the Food Security and Nutrition Technical Working Group.
USAID/Michael Gebremedhin

(as prepared for delivery)

  • Your Excellency Yim Chhay Ly, Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the Council for Agricultural and Rural Development
  • Your Excellency Dr. Chea Samnang, Director of the Cabinet of the Deputy Prime Minister and Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council National Coordinator
  • Distinguished guests, development partners, ladies and gentlemen.

It is a pleasure to attend and co-chair my first Technical Working Group meeting. I am thrilled to see the large number of people here from all kinds of organizations - public, private, big and small all of whom are working to fight malnutrition in Cambodia. Just a few weeks ago I had the privilege of attending Cambodia’s Third National Nutrition Day. This year’s theme – “Improved Sanitation, Hygiene and Nutrition Make Children Grow” – is not only a fact, but it’s a call to action. It is also a strong testament to Cambodia’s continued commitment to improve nutrition for mothers and children.

The most recent data tell us that stunting is the most prevalent form of child malnutrition worldwide, including in Cambodia. One third of Cambodian children under five are stunted. We know that the situation has improved substantially over the last five years, but that is a sobering statistic that deserves our concentrated attention and joint action.

Over the past three years, we have increased our work specifically on nutrition with the support of the Feed the Future initiative. USAID is proud to partner with the Royal Government of Cambodia to tackle the problem of stunting. Working together, we’re focusing our efforts on the first 1,000 days of Cambodian children’s lives. We want our efforts to save lives, build resilience, increase economic productivity, and advance the country’s development. Our NOURISH project, led by Save the Children and the Rice Field Fisheries II project, led by WorldFish are two key initiatives supporting these efforts.

I am here today to learn from all of you and to restate USAID’s commitment to supporting your efforts in any way we can. I’m confident that when we work together, we can improve the lives of Cambodian mothers and their children.

Thank you.   



Phnom Penh
Issuing Country