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UNESCO launches handbook for Cambodian journalists in reporting food security, nutrition

PHNOM PENH, June 25 (Xinhua) — The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on Monday released a bilingual handbook teaching Cambodian journalists how to report news relevant to food security and nutrition.

The Khmer and English guidebook highlighted the general concept of food security and nutrition in simple language for journalists and policy makers to understand, Anne Lemaistre, director of UNESCO in Cambodia, said at the book releasing.

“The handbook will serve as an essential tool to help guide and enhance the journalists’ knowledge for accurate reporting and advocating issues such as child mortality, children and women’s health, nutrition and food security,” she said. “Also, it will allow policy makers to access a wide variety of resources and information to guide them on key issues and to lead them to important information sources.”

Child malnutrition is one of the biggest health problems that Cambodia is currently facing, according to the U.N.’s Fact-Sheet Report for Cambodia in 2011. The country is among the 20 worst countries globally for child malnutrition, estimating that malnutrition is implicated in more than 6,400 Cambodian child deaths annually.

For the maternal nutrition, the report said that malnutrition is considered the underlying cause in 20 percent of maternal deaths, accounting for nearly 300 maternal deaths annually in Cambodia.

Speaking at the event, Information Minister Khieu Kanharith said that the handbook will partly contribute to help Cambodia in achieving the Millennium Development Goals in eradicating extreme poverty and hunger, reducing child mortality, and improving maternal health.

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