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Support childhood nutrition in Cambodia

Although huge strides have been made in Cambodia to protect the rights of children, they continue to face many challenges, including malnutrition.

Malnutrition rates among children under five remain some of the highest in the region – caused by improper feeding, unsafe water and sanitation, poverty, and limited access to information or education. Children who live in rural communities and hard-to-reach areas are particularly at risk due to increased vulnerabilities and limited access to services.

Exacerbating the issue is soaring food prices. On average, Cambodian households spend close to half their available income on food, while vulnerable households spend considerably more. In the face of price shocks, food insecurity can rapidly deteriorate, putting more children at risk of malnutrition.   

Alongside our partners, UNICEF is delivering long-term development programs that support the prevention, screening, diagnosis and treatment of childhood malnutrition. But we need your help to reach more children in need.

The importance of screening for childhood malnutrition

A young Cambodian girl picks local fruits around her house for a snack during a UNICEF visit for an IEC materials testing session.© UNICEF/UN0684942/Sells

After a visit to a health care clinic in North-East Cambodia, Phai, who is seven-months pregnant, was shocked to learn that her two-and-a-half-year-old daughter, Solina, was suffering from severe acute malnutrition (SAM).

"I knew my daughter, Solina, was smaller than the other children her age, but I didn't know how serious it was until our village health screening last month. The Deputy Village Chief told me that the health centre could help her get healthy and strong again, so I brought her in as soon as I could."  

The centre’s health staff explained to Phai the many causes for malnourishment, including not eating enough variety of nutritious foods and over-reliance on unhealthy foods, like instant noodles. Other causes are drinking unclean water and not washing hands properly before eating, especially after using the bathroom, which can lead to diarrhoea, dehydration and, ultimately, malnutrition.  

Phai returned to the health centre once a week to learn about raising healthy kids and she quickly started seeing improvements in Solina's health.   


children in Cambodia received nutrition screening and treatment services with support from UNICEF Australia during 2021 and 2022.

Support childhood nutrition in Cambodia

Donate today and change the lives of children in Cambodia by supporting the prevention and treatment of childhood malnutrition.

Training health care workers

A healthcare worker in Cambodia talks to a mother and her child about the results of their health and nutrition assessment. © UNICEF/UN0684900/Sells

Training in early detection and treatment is helping health care workers avert the long-term impacts of early childhood malnutrition in their communities. Sem, the manager of a health centre, has seen a lot of positive change in her local area over the nine years she has worked there.

"It used to be much more common to see skinny children in the surrounding communities, and cases would turn fatal more often. Since I received UNICEF training on how to identify and treat severe childhood malnutrition, severe cases have gone down and almost all cases lead to complete recovery,” she says.  

In addition to the training, the health centre is equipped with the right tools to manage nutrition data, therapeutic feeding products to treat children with severe acute malnutrition, as well as educational materials for parents and caregivers.

How will my donation help children in Cambodia?

Because UNICEF is 100 per cent donor funded – with some voluntary contributions from governments – our ability to provide long-term development programs like nutrition programs to children in need, depends on the generosity and commitment of donors, like you. We will combine your donation with funding from the Australian Government’s ANCP to reach even more children in need.

  • With $91, you can provide health and nutrition screening for 15 children in preschools.
  • With $148, you could help screen 91 children in rural Cambodia for malnutrition and provide life-saving treatment.
  • With $250, you can reach 10 parents of young children with information on providing nurturing care for the best start in life.

    How do we use each dollar donated?

  • 82¢
    last year, 82 cents of every dollar donated went to our emergency response work in the field and helped us to be there for children before, during and after emergencies around the world.
  • 13¢
    last year, 13 cents covered the essential costs of raising public awareness and fundraising to generate more support for UNICEF’s work.
  • 5¢
    last year, 5 cents were spent on UNICEF Australia’s accountability and administration.
In Cambodia, a mother holds her daughter who has been diagnosed with malnutrition.
© UNICEF/UN0403548/Raab

Support childhood nutrition in Cambodia

Donate today and change the lives of children in Cambodia by supporting the prevention and treatment of childhood malnutrition.