© Helvetas

Myanmar

Myanmar is transitioning from a military dictatorship to a democracy. Helvetas supports rural people to improve their incomes through farming, fishing and learning skilled trades. In addition, Helvetas strengthens civil society in its new role. And we are involved in sustainable coastal management to protect biodiversity.
© Helvetas
  • Capital
    Naypyidaw
  • Area
    676,577 km²
  • UN DEVELOPMENT INDEX*
    Rank: 150 out of 188
  • Population
    54,363,000
  • People supported per year
    43,990
  • Thematic focus
    Skills Development and Education
    Sustainable and Inclusive Economies
    Governance, Peace & Migration
    Gender and Social Equity
* Source: UN Data

Since 2010 Myanmar has been undergoing a complex transformation from a military dictatorship to a democracy. In the wake of the country’s opening up, Helvetas began its involvement in Myanmar in 2012. One focus is on skills training of young women and men, particularly for many teenagers, who never finished school, and government-subsidized vocational training here is often overly theoretical. Working together with businesses, Helvetas enables young people to develop manual skills so they can earn a living or at least improve their income. In sewing and tailoring courses, for example, young women learn a new craft and, after several months of coursework, can look for work as seamstresses or set up shop on their own.

Preservation of biodiversity

Helvetas promotes the sustainable use of natural resources, especially to protect declining fish populations, and the unique and endangered biodiversity along the coastline. Women and men in coastal communities get an alternative source of income in the processing of fish products and agriculture. Helvetas also contributes to the preservation of biodiversity by promoting the production and export of special indigenous plants, such as the Thanaka tree, whose wood and bark are traditionally used to make cosmetics.

Supporting the civil society

Myanmar has an extremely varied and lively civil society, which must now find and defend its place in this new democracy. Thanks to a training program and small financial support, 1000 local organizations in villages actively participate in development processes at a national level. One of these partner organizations, for example, advocates for women’s “right to know” about spousal abuse and works to counter domestic violence by making public concrete experiences in civil society and discussing them with legislative committees.

Humanitarian assistance to refugees

Violence in Rakhine State, which began in August 2017, has driven hundreds of thousands of refugees across the border into Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. The speed and scale of the influx have resulted in a critical humanitarian emergency. Access to Rakhine is now prohibited for international NGOs. Helvetas provides humanitarian assistance to the refugees in Bangladesh.

Visit the website of Helvetas Bangladesh.

Our Projects in Myanmar

 If you would like to know more about our work in Myanmar, click on each project for details.

© Helvetas / Flurina Rothenberger
Myanmar Knowledge and Learning

Well Equipped for the Working World

Vietnam_Biotrade_Woman | © Helvetas
Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar Sustainable and Inclusive Economies

Ethical Trade in Botanicals

Reports from Asia

© Patrick Rohr / Helvetas

Stateless – the Fate of the Rohingya

In the refugee camp in Bangladesh, Rabeya Begum and Mohamad try everything to enable their little son Mohamad Rizwan to live in dignity.

A Farmer’s Daughter Goes to College

Read how the Chakma family, with the support of Helvetas, has set up a tree nursery and thus freed themselves from poverty.

Protecting fish stocks in Myanmar

The people in the Gulf of Mottama live from fishing. Read how they try to regulate stocks with the help of Helvetas.

Where Tea Grows on Trees

In the mountainous hinterland of Laos, tea leaves are picked at high altitudes.

Skills Development and Education

Lack of education perpetuates inequality because poor countries cannot compete economically without a skilled workforce.

Sustainable and Inclusive Economies

Economic growth does not always benefit the poor and poverty is bad for growth. We need to make a proactive effort to break this vicious cycle.

Governance, Peace & Migration

In many countries where we work, men and women are unable to claim their rights and participate actively in decision-making processes.
Contact

HELVETAS MYANMAR
12F Minkyaung Street
Kyaik Wine Pagoda Road
11062 Mayangone Township, Yangon
Myanmar

Phone: +95 (0) 997 914 0158
E-Mail: myanmar@helvetas.org