Helping Children Survive Crises
Heavy monsoon rains aggravated by Cyclone Komen hit the northwestern region of Myanmar.
Myanmar is one of the largest countries in South East Asia in terms of its mass of land and population of about 60 million. Myanmar has vast ethnic diversity comprising a majority Bamars and minority groups such as Shan, Kachin, Kayin, Kayah, Mon, Rakhine, and Chin. Myanmar is a multi-ethnic society with diverse indigenous cultures. The majority, 89%, of Myanmar’s citizens are Buddhist. After decades of military rule, a democratic government took office in 2011.
The UN classifies Myanmar as a Least Developed Country (low income, weak human resources and economic vulnerability). The majority of the population, 70%, live and work in rural areas. Livelihoods are subsistence-based, supplemented at times by cottage industries and marketing of surplus produce. Access to markets is often limited and transaction costs are high.
Rural livelihoods in various parts of the country are further compromised by civil unrest, climate factors and natural disasters including flood, fire and storms like Cyclone Nargis in 2008, which killed more than 100,000 people. Migration from rural areas is continuous, through trafficking and urban drift.