A woman in remote rural Myanmar enjoys the benefits of water in her home ©CPM

Geographically, Myanmar is the largest country in South-East Asia.

Its ethnically diverse population was estimated at 54 million in 2021. The agricultural sector, including livestock and fisheries, is still considered to be the backbone of the economy, and almost half of the labour force is engaged in agriculture for their livelihood.

A woman in remote rural Myanmar enjoys the benefits of water in her home ©CPM

Myanmar is also one of the poorest nations in the world, ranking 147th among 189 nations rated in the 2020 Human Development Report of the United Nations Development Programme. It is also the tenth poorest nation in the whole of Asia. 38.3% of people live in poverty with almost 14% living in severe poverty. The average GNI per person is $4,961 (PPP adjusted), while life expectancy stands at 67 years. In addition, the incidence of poverty in rural areas is significantly higher than in urban areas, and rural areas lag behind in health, social and educational indicators.

COVID-19 has increased poverty among rural people by limiting their ability to seek viable work in towns and cities. Additionally, the military coup of early 2021 has resulted in increased conflict between some of the country’s ethnic groups and the regime.

AID partners with the Church of the Province of Myanmar (CPM) to address these challenges, working together to implement programs aimed at improving access to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) and improving Agricultural Livelihoods.

CPM consists of six dioceses and two mission dioceses, with the provincial office based in Yangon. The church population is estimated at over 60,000, from predominantly Karen, Kachin, and Chin ethnic groups.

The development and emergency response work of CPM is coordinated through the provincial development desk in Yangon, which aims “to build healthy and self-reliant communities and churches”. AID is committed to supporting further capacity building within the Church and its development desk, ensuring staff members are fully equipped to meet various development challenges as they are presented.

Your support of the work of AID will make a vital difference in the lives of so many in Myanmar struggling with poverty, providing opportunities for people, especially in remote rural areas, to improve their own lives.

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