World Food Program

Fellowship Number: 
Field Location: 
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Policy Location: 
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
General Scope of Work: 
Maternal and child nutrition
Description of Organization: 

As the United Nations’ frontline agency in the fight against hunger, WFP specializes in emergency humanitarian response and hunger prevention. We do this through programs that use food or cash as a means to build assets, spread knowledge and nurture stronger, more dynamic communities. This in turn helps communities become more food secure. WFP has expertise in a range of areas including Food Security Analysis, Nutrition, Food Procurement and Logistics to ensure the best solutions for the world's hungry.  In 2011, WFP provided food and nutritional assistance to nearly 100 million of the poorest and most vulnerable in 75 countries.

Project Description: 

Malnutrition rates in Cambodia are among the highest in Asia; almost 40 percent of children are chronically malnourished and micronutrient deficiencies, especially iron, vitamin A and iodine, are high among children under five and pregnant and lactating women.The maternal mortality ratio is 206 per 100,000 live birthsand life expectancy is 60 years for men and 64 years for women.  

While Cambodia produces a surplus of paddy rice, household level food security remains a serious challenge due to high rates of poverty, frequent flooding and droughts, low levels of irrigation, and poor storage facilities among other factors. As a result, there are significant problems in access to food and poor rates of dietary diversification and nutrition. 

WFP activities reach almost 1 million food-insecure people in rural Cambodia. The overall goal of WFP's assistance is to improve food security and nutrition for the hungry poor in Cambodia. The program includes such interventions as food-for-education (school meals and food/cash scholarships), food-for-work to build community assets, and support to mother and child health and nutrition. When necessary, relief food distributions are also carried out. 

Field Placement: 

Reporting directly to the head of Area Office, the fellow will develop, implement, monitor, and evaluate specific program interventions to enhance nutritional and food security impact for key vulnerable groups. Depending on the specific expertise of the fellow, areas of focus will include refining operational modalities to reach the most vulnerable; leading engagement with village, community, and sub-national authorities; piloting the use of new nutritional products and commodities to include in food assistance rations; and setting up systems to monitor the impact of interventions over time.

Policy Placement: 

The overall goal of the Policy Placement is directly linked to the fellow’s field assignment – i.e. to take the lessons learned regarding the implementation of food security and nutrition programs in the field and incorporate them within national food security and nutrition strategies, policies, and programs being developed by the national Government with support from WFP and other UN and international development partners. Areas of direct policy involvement would include, inter alia, representing WFP in dialogue with partners engaged in food security, nutrition, and health technical working groups and the ongoing discourse regarding national strategies for nutrition and food security. 

Education/Experience Required: 
  • Master’s degree, preferably in Nutrition or Public Health.
  • At least one year of field experience in a developing country, preferably in Southeast Asia, working on issues related to development, food security, nutrition, or maternal and child health
  • Strong knowledge of root causes of, and links between, malnutrition and food insecurity.
  • Demonstrated ability to write for a wide range of audiences.
  • Excellent skills in written and spoken English. Proficiency in Khmer would be a huge asset (and a huge surprise).
  • Self-starter willing to take initiative but also able to work in cross-cultural teams.
  • Adaptability, patience, and a sense of humor.