WFP Cambodia Country Brief, March 2020

Situation Report
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In Numbers

430 mt of food distributed (estimated)

US$ 82,730 cash-based transfers made (estimated)

US$ 0 million six months (April to September 2020) net funding requirements

233,950 people assisted In March 2020

Operational Updates

In its commitment to scale up and transition the homegrown school feeding (HGSF) programme to national ownership, WFP continued to provide training of trainers on HGSF to 36 provincial and district school feeding committee members in Kampong Chhnang and Pursat provinces. These core members provided 12 cascade trainings to 354 local school committee members on quotation processes to select HGSF suppliers through fair and transparent bidding. The school committees were ready to begin recruiting suppliers but were interrupted by the government’s immediate measures to close schools nationwide to combat COVID-19.

As a response to the suspension of the school feeding programme, WFP and the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (MoEYS) worked together to convert regular on-site feeding in WFP-supported schools to a one-off take home ration strategy, providing 103,500 children across five provinces with 10kg of rice each. This total of 1,000 mt of rice was targeted to poor and vulnerable households in targeted districts, which are projected to be acutely impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak and its related restrictions. The initiative was carried out under recommended health and hygiene protocols such as hand washing, mask/krama-covering, and social distancing.

In April, the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF) and MoEYS, in collaboration with WFP, will be implementing this take home ration model in 205 further schools where HGSF is implemented by Government. This national take home ration programme will utilize the distribution mechanisms established in WFP-supported schools.

Amid the pandemic, to further commit to and expand the HGSF in three targeted provinces, the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) exchanged signatures on a grant agreement worth up to USD 10 million with WFP and MoEYS. This grant will contribute to the transitioning of the HGSF programme from WFP management to full government ownership by 2024.

WFP, in collaboration with the National Committee for Disaster Management (NCDM) developed a digital questionnaire for collecting field information on the large-scale return of Cambodian migrants following the COVID-19 crisis and closure of border crossings. This builds on the existing Platforms for Realtime Information SysteMs (PRISM) used to collect disaster risk data. NCDM and their sub-national committees will utilize this system for digital data collection in April across the country—the results of which will assist the government and development partners to better understand the destination of migrant returnees and where to target assistance.

To ensure continuity and capture changes in market dynamics resulting from COVID-19, WFP and the Ministry of Agriculture, Fishery, and Forestry (MAFF), expanded the existing remote monthly food price monitoring from the existing rural and urban markets across seven provinces to include traders from other areas, thus covering the entire country. The two institutions are also in discussion with the call centre to increase its monitoring frequency to bi-weekly intervals.