Ethnic conflicts and inter-communal violence continue to plague the mostly rural nation. Over 3.4 million people live below the poverty line on less than $1.90 (£1.40) a day. This is particularly prevalent in rural areas where 65% of the population are based. In these regions, the level of poverty is almost twice as high.
A quarter of the country’s economy is based on agriculture yet families remain malnourished. Food insecurity combined with difficult access to health facilities are placing the lives of locals in crisis. What’s more, recurring violence remains a leading cause of instability. Over a million people are internally displaced, with hundreds of thousands more seeking refuge in neighbouring countries. Affected communities are on the move and in need of humanitarian assistance, including food, shelter and medical care.
For many people in Myanmar life can be particularly challenging:
- There are approximately 926,000 stateless people across Myanmar (UNHCR, 2016)
- 1 in 20 children will die before they reach their fifth birthday (World Bank, 2016)
- A third of children suffer from stunting (UN World Food Programme, 2017)
- Over 200,000 displaced families live in the states of Rakhine, Kachin, Shan and Kayin (UNOCHA, 2018)
Islamic Relief in Myanmar
Islamic Relief has worked with the Rohingya community from Rakhine State throughout various crises, constructing an entire village for 10,000 unregistered Rohingya refugees in 2008 in Teknaf, on the Bangladesh-Myanmar border.