People Helped in 2017: 50,414
The humanitarian situation in Myanmar, made worse by chronic poverty, is complex: exposure to natural disasters leaving more than 300,000 displaced due to floods, food insecurity, armed conflicts, inter-community clashes and massive displacements. Around 863,000 people, out of which 241,000 are displaced, need humanitarian aid. After the escalation of violence in the state of Rakhine, more than 650,000 Rohingya have left for Bangladesh since August 2017. In the states of Kachin and Shan, around 106,000 people are still in camps. The chronic malnutrition rate remains very high at more than 30 percent, in particular in the regions of Chin, Rakhine, and Shan where it is at 50 percent.
Myanmar’s political isolation, economic stagnation, and public health woes make high rates of malnutrition an unfortunate reality. Acute malnutrition rates were an alarming 19.5% in the state of Northern Arakan recently, thanks to insufficient food resources, limited access to health care, and inadequate breastfeeding practices. But food insecurity is rampant across Myanmar: 85% of households in the state of Kayah face frequent food shortages, and the country’s agricultural production as a whole is routinely undermined by erratic rainfall and the high costs of agricultural inputs, limiting productivity and household consumption.
Action Against Hunger has worked in Myanmar since 1994, offering life-sustaining nutrition, food security, and water, sanitation, and hygiene support for vulnerable communities. Our current objectives are to improve access to treatment for acute malnutrition, assist populations affected by armed conflict, strengthen community resilience to natural disasters, and respond to chronic food insecurity and address undernutrition across Myanmar.
Our operational strategy is threefold: to treat and prevent acute malnutrition in infants under five years old and pregnant and lactating women in the states of Rakhine and Kayah coupled with actions involving water, sanitation, and hygiene, and mental health and infant-care practices: to reduce the impact of the natural disasters on the very exposed coastal communities of the state of Rakhine; and to give vulnerable people, pregnant and lactating women, infants under five, refugees or displaced people better access to basic services with the help of advocacy work. As a member of several multi-partner consortiums, we are promoting the independence of international NGOs, defending humanitarian principles, reconciliation of humanitarian and development rationale, as well as the implementation of common advocacy actions at a national and international level on the situation in Myanmar.