Myanmar (formerly Burma) is a country with a unique diversity of more than 130 different ethnic groups and an abundant wealth of natural resources. It has a population roughly equal to that of England and Wales combined, yet one in three people live below the poverty line.
Why CAFOD works here
Since the inauguration of the first democratically elected government in 2011, Myanmar is slowly emerging from decades of military rule and a civil war that started in 1948 and still continues today. This complex issue is a priority for CAFODs work which involves conflict resolution among different ethic and religious groups.
The country also faces stronger storms, floods, and droughts that ravage the country, displacing, killing and destroying the livelihoods of thousands.
Myanmar has opened up to foreign investors recently. This has led to many opportunities but is also increasingly threatening local communities through land grabs and environmental destruction caused by companies exploiting natural resources.
Our work in Myanmar
CAFOD has been working in Myanmar since 1993. Through our local network, we aim to support the poorest and most marginalised people in the country regardless of faith or ethnicity by:
- helping vulnerable people to adapt to and prepare for future humanitarian crises
- supporting ongoing peace efforts by listening to those excluded from the process and by empowering young people and faith leaders to transform conflicts in their own communities
- bringing together, training and empowering local groups and community leaders to speak out and work on issues that matter most to people on the ground.
Kyin Nu lives in Pathein diocese. In 2008, she lost two of her children to Cyclone Nargis. We supported her in the initial days after the storm as well as helping to build back her life today.
Without all this work of KMSS, the village would face serious problems. The land would get flooded, we wouldn’t have as good a harvest because of the flooding. There would be more pests. We would not be able to grow as much food, we would grow hungry and we would not have any protection from any type of wind. Even a small storm would cause great damage – it wouldn’t have to be a great cyclone like Nargis.