Helen Keller International sign memo on promoting workers’ health at workplace

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Phnom Penh/Cambodia – Workers rejoiced and had a sigh of relief after the Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training struck a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Helen Keller International Cambodia to launch a project promoting the women’s and workers’ health and nutrition at the workplace and factories.

Supported by the GIZ-MUSEFO program, the MoU seeks to promote Cambodia’s health and economic health.

Through this program, Pav Sina Sina, the president of the Collective Union of Movement of Workers (CUMW), expressed the expectation that after the project is successful, the health of factory workers will improve, which will help increase production for investors.

The deal was brought forward after factory workers reported incidents of fainting due to the lack of nutrients.

Workers would have bought low-quality and unhealthy food just for the sake of saving money, mentioning that some are anemic and most of them cause dizziness.

“We know those foods sold in front of the factory are not nutritious and unhealthy; vegetables and meat are not fresh, but we have no choice, so we have to eat to fill our stomach,” said worker Sun Sopha.

Many complained that if they buy nutritious food, there will not be enough income left to meet the needs of their families, mentioning that healthy food price is R5,000 ($ 1.25) per meal, which is as twice expensive as unhealthy ones.

Sina also said the project success is linked to buyers’ participation, since “the buyers are committed to their ethics to improving the lives and health of workers,” improving workers’ health means increasing productivity.

“Therefore, it is very important for factory workers because their current income is still limited to buy good food and hygiene items, so they have to save all their income,” the president added.

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