In Cambodia, poverty is a critical underlying cause of high maternal and child mortality. About 28 percent of the population lives below the national poverty line, and poverty rates for children are even more severe at 50 percent.
Children in Cambodia are also burdened with increasing disparities and inequalities in health and nutrition outcomes that persist between rural and urban areas, across provinces and between households with different education levels and economic status.
Contributing to the challenges for women and children, child malnutrition has health and economic consequences that will affect Cambodia for generations to come. The burden of undernourishment among children is enormous: 41 percent of children under age five are stunted and malnutrition contributes to more than 17 child deaths a day.
In order to improve access to health and nutrition programs among rural, poor and vulnerable groups, demographic targeting of interventions is required. The North East provinces of Kratie and Ratanakiri are considered the regions most in need of investment to ensure equity in the development of children and women in the country. These provinces have the lowest health outcomes and greatest health inequalities.
Reduce under-five mortality and stunting through extending coverage of evidence-based, high-impact health and nutrition interventions to the most disadvantaged children and poorest households.
The Multiplier Effect
Activities will demonstrate cost-effective packages of efficient health and nutrition interventions, serving as models to facilitate scale-up by government counterparts and stakeholders.
- Improve access to skilled birth attendants and antenatal and prenatal care services.
- Increase the number of children screened and treated for severe acute malnutrition.
- Improve deworming coverage for pregnant women and children.
- Generate awareness and care seeking behaviour on key hygiene, feeding and health care practices at the community level and at health facilities.
- Develop a monitoring and evaluation framework to encourage widespread access to data and information on cost-effective, high-impact maternal, newborn and child health interventions.