Cambodia was badly affected by soaring food prices during the 2008-09 food price crisis – the price of rice and fertilizer doubled, while the price of meat and fish increased by up to 60% within a year. The higher prices accentuated the vulnerability of these households, including the urban poor, and the increased costs of seeds and fertilizers threatened food production as farmers were forced to reduce the use of fertilizer. Soaring gasoline price increased the cost of transport, processing, and water pumping for irrigation. Today, agriculture is the dominant sector in the Cambodian economy, contributing 32% of GDP and employing 60% of the workforce while 80% of the population depends on the sector for their livelihood. Around two thirds of the country’s rural households face food shortages or are food-deprived, particularly during the dry reason, leading to migration to urban areas and across the border to Thailand and Vietnam.
The Emergency Food Assistance Project (EFAP) supported the Royal Government of Cambodia’s Strategy for Agriculture and Water, which aims to improve food security and spur economic growth by enhancing agricultural productivity and diversification and by improving water resource development and management. The project reduced vulnerability of food-insecure households through improved irrigation infrastructure and roads, increased availability to and awareness of nutritious food and hygiene, increased access to improved agricultural inputs and technologies among food-insecure people, and improved capacity to mainstream food security. This was achieved through activities such as the production and promotion of quality seeds, the introduction of livestock and aquaculture to diversify the production and consumption base, a food-for-work program that involved rehabilitation of small tertiary irrigation canals and village roads, and the development of disaster preparedness such as crop contingency planning and the establishment of the Cambodia Food Reserve System (CFRS).
243,421 poor people have been reached, surpassing the original target of 176,000 people. Out of the overall impacted people, more than 82,000 were women (34%).
1,212,568 days of employment were generated. Work involved the construction of 291.1 kilometers of rural roads and 28.804 kilometers of tertiary canals.
39,398 people received improved nutrition services, such as trainings on agriculture and nutritious food, hygiene and sanitation, support for latrine construction, including 9,401 women headed households – reducing the chronic malnutrition rate by 10.8%.
Official Project Documents:
- GAFSP Proposal
- Cover Letters with Endorsements
- Sector Strategies: Food Security and Nutrition, Nutrition, Strategic Development Plan Update, Sub-National Democratic Development, Rice Production and Export, and (regional) Asean Integrated Food Security Framework
- Technical Peer Review: Independent Review and Meeting Summary
- Background documents (SAW Program Design, Annexes for Program Design Document, Statement of Partnership Principles)