Nationwide Media Competition on Food Security and Nutrition Draws to a Successful Close
According to national census figures, about 140 of every 1,000 Cambodian children die before they are five years old. Lack of proper nutrition in the early years not only contributes to premature death, but also impedes a child’s physical and mental development. Without food security and proper nutrition, individuals are unable to enjoy their full rights: Under-nutrition has shown to reduce human potential at high economic and social costs, and to contribute to the loss of 2-3 percent of a country’s GDP.
From September to November 2012, the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDG) Media Competition was launched to increase awareness of media professionals and public on issues related to food security and nutrition and to encourage production of features in print, online and broadcast media.
The Millennium Development Goals (MDG) Joint Programme for Children, Food Security and Nutrition in Cambodia was implemented with government partners, 6 UN agencies (UNESCO, UNICEF, ILO, WHO, WFP and FAO), and other relevant stakeholders since 2010. The Programme’s core objective was to contribute to the achievement of three Millennium Development Goals:
MDG 1 - Eradicating extreme poverty and hunger
MDG 4 - Reducing child mortality
MDG 5 - Improving maternal health
The UNESCO MDG and Communication and Information programmes have focused their efforts on capacity building, targeting media professionals and community-based beneficiaries in order to increase awareness of these issues. UNESCO has worked closely with journalists in Phnom Penh and the rural and remote provinces of Cambodia to open up access to information about food security and nutrition in Khmer and other indigenous minority languages. Through intensive workshops on print, radio and online journalism, Cambodian journalists have been trained to cover innovations in agricultural technologies and practices, and issues concerning farmers and stakeholders to improve food security of the country.
The media competition received a high number of quality articles and broadcasts. Cambodia News and the Club of Cambodian Journalists (CCJ) played a key role in encouraging journalists from a wide range of news outlets to participate. Mr. Chandarith Sok from Samey Nyum Magazine, Ms. Sokunthy Kim from Radio FM 102, and Mr. Heng Neang from Health News Online were the top three winners of the competition. Their articles and broadcast focused on nutrition for pregnant women and babies.
At the awards ceremony held on 14 December 2012, Mr. Douglas Broderick, the United Nations Resident Coordinator, congratulated the winners and underscored the key role that media professionals can play in educating the public, “Good nutrition saves lives, improves human potential and enhances economic development. And through your work, journalists and media professionals like you can make a difference.” Mr. Broderick thanked the cooperation of the experts from the Ministry of Information, Council for Agricultural and Rural Development, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports and the Spanish government who have collaborated tirelessly to work towards the Millennium Development Goals through this joint programme.
For more information, please contact Ms. Jamie Hyo-Jin Lee, UNESCO Communication and Information Unit at: hj.lee(at)unesco.org
The winners articles of the Food Nutrition Competition: