25.06.2012 -

UNESCO Launches a Media Handbook on Food Security and Nutrition for Journalists and Media Professionals in Cambodia

@UNESCO/Marina Oro - Children eating with their mothers

On 25 June 2012, UNESCO held a ceremony to launch the publication, A Guide for Journalists: Food Security and Nutrition under the MDG-F Joint Programme. The MDG-Fund Joint Programme for Children, Food Security and Nutrition in Cambodia was developed through a consultative process involving government partners, 6 UN agencies (FAO, UNICEF, ILO, WHO, WFP and UNESCO), and other relevant stakeholders in 2010. The aim of the programme is to address issues of critical importance for the health of women and children, with the highest priority on nutrition and food security. The core objective of the Joint Programme (JP) is to contribute to the achievement of three Millennium Development Goals: MDG 1 -Eradicating extreme poverty and hunger, MDG 4 -Reducing child mortality, and MDG 5 - Improving maternal health. The Joint Programme aims to achieve an important and sustainable contribution to reducing under-nutrition among children 0-24 months and pregnant and lactating women and improving food security during the 3-year implementation period.

The media handbook for journalists was produced under the assumption that journalists are in the best position to affect change in society, as they can identify pressing development issues at the local level. UNESCO, as the only United Nations specialized agency with a mandate to work with the press and media professionals to promote their independence, freedom and pluralism, understands the critical role that media plays in disseminating information and in awareness-raising on issues such as food security and nutrition. The UNESCO indigenous language radio programme, for example, has effectively disseminated important information amongst the minority communities in Rattanakiri province about agricultural technologies and practices, seeking to engage farmers and stakeholders about food and nutrition issues. In order to further spearhead this effort and to reach out to marginalized populations, the MDG-F programme is supporting the implementation of the UNESCO indigenous language radio to bring about accurate reporting and advocacy on issues such as child mortality, children and women’s health, nutrition and food security.

As journalists have the skills and capacity to investigate feasible options to challenges at the local level and have the platform to present the various solutions in a clear and understandable way, educating media professionals is key in opening up information channels especially for the marginalized communities experiencing poverty and malnutrition.  Informing the public is the first step in tapping into the strengths of the local community so that they can collectively take action. With the launch of this new publication, UNESCO’s aim is to increase coverage of the topic, Food Security and Nutrition, in Cambodian print, radio and television in the near future.

The launch of the publication was attended by key officials from the Cambodian government, H.E. Mr. Khieu Kanharith, Minister, Ministry of Information, H.E. Rath Virak, Secretary-General, Council of Agriculture and Rural Development, and Ms. Anne Lemaistre, UNESCO Representative in Phnom Penh. The launch was followed by a five-day training on Food Security and Nutrition, implemented in cooperation with the Media Training Center under the Ministry of Information, for radio journalists from all Cambodian provinces with existing radio stations.

For more information, please contact:

Ms. Jamie Hyo-Jin Lee, Communications Officer, UNESCO at hj.lee(at)unesco.org

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