In developed nations poverty will be measured on a base which includes necessities such as food, shelter; even transportation. Not so for underdeveloped nations such as Cambodia where poverty is measured on daily caloric intake and estimated to be at $0.59 cents US per day.
For many children in Cambodia poverty means not having enough food to survive each day. The World Food Program (WFP) calculates the food poverty line by translating the food intake into Riel to achieve a level of 2,100 Kcal/person/day; using this method the food poverty line in 2004 was estimated at 2351 Riel (US$ 0.59) in Phnom Penh, 1952 Riel (US$ 0.49) in other urban areas and 1753 Riel (US$ 0.44) in rural areas. In 2004, 20 percent of Cambodian population was estimated to live below the food poverty line. The incidence of poverty was highest in rural areas (39%).
At Bykota House our cooks are encouraged to purchase more meat and vegetables in order to have a more nutritional meal than would be found in the average Cambodian household. Additionally the children are supplemented with vitamins and soy protein drinks. Because of this we have less instances of illness and children who rank higher on the Asian growth chart than their peers.