WFP/Gaurab Tewari

The Situation

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.

World Food Programme's Work

WFP implemented its first operation in Myanmar in 1978 in the northern Rakhine State and established its office in 1994.

WFP is working to reduce poverty, food insecurity and undernutrition, responding to disasters and increasing resilience among the most vulnerable. WFP has been providing regular life-saving food assistance to more than 280,000 people displaced and impacted by conflict, violence and natural disaster.

  • Nutrition: Linking with the national health system and in line with a national protection scheme, WFP provides nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive support for more than 145,000 pregnant and nursing mothers and malnourished children.
  • HIV and tuberculosis program: As balanced nutrition is pivotal for both HIV and tuberculosis patients to keep the immune system strong, WFP provides food- by-prescription to 17,000 patients, aiming to enhance adherence and treatment success.
  • Community asset creation: WFP strengthens community resilience by creating community infrastructures and providing cash or food for more than 200,000 people in exchange for participation in asset creation activities.
  • School meals: WFP and the Ministry of Education have started working toward nationalization of the school meals program from the 2015-2016 academic year onward. More than 190,000 students participated in the program last year.

Articles About Myanmar

WFP/Saikat Mojumder

‘We Can Now Collect Food With Dignity’

Rohingya women share their stories

World food programme

WFP/Saikat Mojumder

New Crisis Looms for Rohingya Refugees on Grim Anniversary

The monsoon season sets new challenges for people living in camps on the Bangladesh border.

World food programme

A woman named Samsunnahar traveled for five days on foot to reach the Kutupalong camp in Bangladesh.
WFP/Saikat Mojumder

Stories From the Field: the Rohingya Crisis

She’s not a number, she has a name.

World food program usa

WFP/Saikat Mojumder

‘I Don’t Want the World to Forget’

How photographs help bring the plight of the Rohingya refugees to light

Shelley Thakral

WFP Middle East Twitter

Ready for Anything: How WFP is Restoring Dignity and Choice for Rohingya Refugees

For the World Food Programme (WFP), doing good better is a guiding principle for its work fighting global hunger. And in 2018, better serving Rohingya refugees who just can’t return…

Ash Kosiewicz

WFP/Saikat Mojumder

More Than Half A Million People Have Crossed the Bangladesh Border

A new survey by the U.N. World Food Programme (WFP) and its humanitarian partners shows alarming malnutrition rates in the Kutupalong refugee camp in Bangladesh, where preliminary findings indicate that…

Alice Manos

WFP/Saikat Mojumder

Reaching the Rohingya in “No-Man’s Land”

"We can't eat…we leave the food for our children."

World food program usa

A group of children sits and stands near makeshift tents, surrounded by small belongings
WFP/Saikat Mojumder

The Latest on WFP’s Response to the Rohingya Crisis

“The squalor of the refugee camps around Cox’s Bazar is hard to imagine, the nervous energy, the pressing masses of people, the mud and the grit and the smell.”  …

World food program usa

Munzila wears a pink scarf over her head and lifts the lid of a pot of rice, her belongings surround her
WFP/Saikat Mojumder

For Rohingya in Bangladesh, Food Is Not Enough

By Silke Buhr, WFP Asia Regional Communications Officer

Guest contributor

Bithika wears a WFP hat and sits on the ground surrounded by a group of women, she talks and gestures to them
WFP/Silke Buhr

“Everyone Here Has Lost a Husband, a Son, a Brother, a Father”

Rohingya women share food and tales of horror in Bangladesh settlements

Guest contributor

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