Myanmar is the second largest country in Southeast Asia. The nation’s economy is one of the least developed in the world and is suffering the effects of extended isolation and stagnation. More than 13 million people—26 percent of Myanmar’s population—live below the poverty line and 3 million people are spending a high percentage of their limited income on food with a restricted diet that does not meet all their consumption needs. Approximately 298,700 people are in need of food assistance.
Development in Myanmar is being compromised by prolonged ethnic conflicts and intercommunal violence since its independence in 1948, resulting in massive displacement of people. In education, the net enrollment rate in primary schools is close to 88 percent, and 75 percent of children starting grade one reach grade five. However, the net completion rate is only 54 percent.
The country’s vulnerability to natural disaster and the Government’s poor emergency response capacity has affected its socio-economic progress. Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party won a landslide victory in the general election in November 2015. A new cabinet led by the first civilian president since five decades ago took power in April 2016.