Economic Impact of Using Fortified Rice in Cambodia’s School Feeding Programme

The school feeding programme in Cambodia, which is run by the national government and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), has the potential to reduce the burden of diseases caused by micronutrient deficiencies. Providing fortified rice to schoolchildren can potentially be a cost-effective way of improving micronutrient deficiencies in young children. WFP and the Nutrition Improvement Department of the Ministry of Planning partnered with Virginia Tech University between 2022 and 2023 to evaluate the socioeconomic impact of providing fortified rice in Cambodian schools.  Results indicate that providing fortified rice in school meals is very highly cost effective in reducing zinc, folic acid, and vitamin A deficiencies, improving cognitive performance, and reducing iron-deficiency anaemia.