Cambodia – Market Update: Focus: Effect of the COVID-19 Outbreak on Food Prices, May 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has been rapidly evolving since the beginning of 2020. On 11 March 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) categorized it as a global pandemic. There have been more than 170 million confirmed cases and more than 3.5 million deaths worldwide (WHO, 1 June 2021). In Cambodia, since the first reported case on 27 January 2020, there have been a total of 30,710 confirmed cases, of which 29,779 cases were linked to the February 2021 community outbreak, and 220 deaths as of 31 May 2021 (MOH, 1 June 2021).

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a major impact on the global economy. Trade and travel have been severely restricted and many countries, including Cambodia and others across Asia, have instituted measures to contain the spread. In April 2021, Cambodia implemented a series of lockdowns in Phnom Penh and other locations to contain the February 2021 community outbreak.

In order to understand if the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted food availability and access at markets in Cambodia, the World Food Programme (WFP) monitors the retail and wholesale prices of key food commodities (see Annex 1 and 2) in 45 urban and rural markets across the country (see Methods section for more details). An average of 340 traders and market chiefs are interviewed every two weeks using a call center contracted by WFP. In addition to prices, market chiefs are also interviewed to assess market functionality, including supply and demand issues. Additional information is used to interpret the results and understand the broader context.

This update is based on market data collected in the first and third weeks of May 2021.

This system is based on long-term cooperation between WFP and the Agricultural Marketing Office (AMO) of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF).

Source: World Food Programme