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Cambodia: World Food Programme (WFP) Cuts its Food Supports
World Food Programme (WFP) stopped providing vegetable oil and iodized salt to people living with HIV and the poorest orphans and vulnerable children since July 2011; however, WFP has continued providing 25 kilograms of rice to each household but not beyond December 2012.

WFP made two separate agreements with KHANA since 2005 regarding its food supports to the households of the poorest Cambodian people living with HIV and the poorest orphans and vulnerable children in Cambodia. With the first three year agreement from 2005 to 2007, WFP provided 7,712.996 metric tones to support 14,179 households, therein 7,911 PLHIV-households and 6,268 OVC-households.

With the second three year agreement from 2008 to 2010, WFP provided 9,959.360 metric tones to 15,004 households, therein 9,130 PLHIV-households and 5,874 OVC-households.

Under home-based care program, each poorest PLHIV and OVC household usually receive 30 kilograms of rice, 1 kilogram of oil and half kilogram of iodized salt on a monthly basis. From July 2011 WFP stopped providing vegetable oil and iodized salt, but WFP has continued providing 25 kilograms of rice to each household. “After 2012, food support for home-based care will be cut; however, food support for education will be provided,” said the 20-April-2011 meeting minute.

The absence of food support would really have negative impacts on poor people living with HIV, especially for PLHIV and OVC households that have many dependents and are not able to earn enough income to support their family members.

The Annual Reflection on Impacts of WFP’s food assistance for PLHIV and OVC highlighted significant changes with food support from WFP. The report showed the declination of loans, fears of VCCT, stigmatization, school drops, child labor, migration, free from hunger and so on.

Because the poorest are in need of food assistance and if food are cut without finding and redressing bad impacts, then relapsing of school drops, migration, seeking for a risk job, forced child labor and exploitation, child trafficking, stigmatization and discrimination, fear of hunger, health drop, irregular medication, or drug resistance might exist among PLHIV and OVC.

Although we can forecast some major impacts but no one would say how big the impacts are on the poorest PLHIV and OVC households. It is not so long from now to December 2012 when all WFP’s food assistance is cut off. The proof of major fears and relapsing few months before December 2012 as results of food cuts might help PLHIV and OVC to seek continuous food supports from other sources in time.

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