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Poverty & Hunger

Union of Myanmar



In the early years of the 21st Century

Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Burma

CAUTION:  The following links and accompanying text have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in Myanmar in the early years of the 21st Century.  Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated, misleading or even false.   No attempt has been made to validate their authenticity or to verify their content.



If you are looking for material to use in a term-paper, you are advised to scan the postings on this page and others to see which aspects of poverty are of particular interest to you.  You might be interested in exploring the relationship between distribution of labor and per-capita GDP, for example.  Perhaps your paper could focus on life expectancy or infant mortality.  Other factors of interest might be unemployment, literacy, access to basic services, etc.  On the other hand, you might choose to include some of the possible outgrowths of poverty such as Human Trafficking, Street Children, or even Prostitution.  There is a lot to the subject of Poverty.  Scan other countries as well as this one.  Draw comparisons between activity in adjacent countries and/or regions.  Meanwhile, check out some of the Term-Paper resources that are available on-line.


Check out some of the Resources for Teachers attached to this website.

*** Extreme Weather ***

Myanmar is at risk of several natural hazards, including extreme temperatures, drought, cyclones, flooding, and storm surge. In recent years, the country has experienced an increase in the number of extreme weather events such as floods and cyclones. These events have led to displacement of people, loss of property, and even fatalities.  Microsoft BING Copilot

*** ARCHIVES ***

The World Factbook – Burma

U.S. Central Intelligence Agency CIA

[accessed 10 November 2020]

World Factbook website has moved to --->

[accessed 5 January 2021]

Despite these improvements, living standards have not improved for the majority of the people residing in rural areas. Burma remains one of the poorest countries in Asia – approximately 26% of the country’s 51 million people live in poverty. The isolationist policies and economic mismanagement of previous governments have left Burma with poor infrastructure, endemic corruption, underdeveloped human resources, and inadequate access to capital, which will require a major commitment to reverse. The Burmese Government has been slow to address impediments to economic development such as unclear land rights, a restrictive trade licensing system, an opaque revenue collection system, and an antiquated banking system.

GDP - per capita (PPP): $6,300 (2017 est.)

Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 70%

industry: 7%

services: 23% (2001 est.)

Unemployment rate: 4% (2017 est.)

Population below poverty line: 25.6% (2016 est.)

Maternal mortality rate: 250 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)

Infant mortality rate: total: 31.7 deaths/1,000 live births

Life expectancy at birth: total population: 69.3 years

Drinking water source: improved: total: 81.8% of population

Physicians density: 0.86 physicians/1,000 population (2017)

Sanitation facility access: improved: total: 73.7% of population

Electricity access: electrification - total population: 57% (2016)

The Borgen Project - Myanmar

[accessed 23 January 2021]

The Borgen Project works with U.S. leaders to utilize the United States’ platform behind efforts toward improving living conditions for the world’s poor.  It is an innovative, national campaign that is working to make poverty a focus of U.S. foreign policy.  It believes that leaders of the most powerful nation on earth should be doing more to address global poverty. From ending segregation to providing women with the right to vote, nearly every wrong ever righted in history was achieved through advocacy. The Borgen Project addresses the big picture, operating at the political level advancing policies and programs that improve living conditions for those living on less than $1 per day.

~ Hope For The Epidemic Of Tobacco In Myanmar

~ Mobilizing Myanmar: How Mobile Banking Is Helping Solve Global Poverty

~ 5 Advancements In Agricultural Technology

~ Standing With Orphans Supports Orphanages In Myanmar

~ 3 Organizations Improving Living Conditions In Myanmar

~ Raised Expectations: Gender Roles In Myanmar

~ 5 Facts About Poverty In Myanmar

WFP step up operations in response to fast rising hunger in Myanmar

U.N. World Food Program WFP, Yangon, 22 April 2021

[accessed 22 April 2021]

“More and more poor people have lost their jobs and are unable to afford food,” said WFP Myanmar Country Director Stephen Anderson. “A concerted response is required now to alleviate immediate suffering, and to prevent an alarming deterioration in food security.”

Already, there are signs of families in and around Yangon being pushed to the edge, skipping meals, eating less nutritious food and going into debt, just to survive.

The latest WFP market monitoring shows that in Yangon and across the country, the average rice price has increased by 5% since January, and the average cooking oil price has increased by 18% since February. In Yangon, an up to 25% increase in cooking oil price was also recorded. The increases are particularly high in some border states including Rakhine, Kachin and Chin. In Kachin state, for example, rice prices have risen by up to 43% in some townships, and cooking oil by 32%. The price of fuel has increased by roughly 30% nationwide.

Hunger Worsens in Myanmar due to Deteriorating Political Situation

Phoebe Sleet, Research Analyst, Global Food and Water Crises Research Programme, 17 March 2021

[accessed 17 March 2021]

The economic shutdown has the potential to be particularly difficult for Myanmar, as one of the least-developed countries in the world and the least developed ASEAN country. While there has been a modest decline in poverty since the 2000s, around one-third of the population is poor, with poverty especially severe in rural areas. Even among those who are not currently impoverished, a significant number remain close to the poverty line – around another third of the country is within 50 per cent of the poverty line, putting them at high risk of falling into poverty if they experience any unanticipated shocks. The COVID-19 pandemic has already caused high rates of job and income losses, especially in urban areas. As a result, households have reported worsening levels of poverty and food insecurity since the start of the pandemic.

Action Against Hunger - Myanmar

[accessed 21 March 2021]

The humanitarian situation in Myanmar is characterized by a complex combination of vulnerability to natural disasters, food and nutrition insecurity, armed conflict, inter-communal tensions, displacement, trafficking and risky migration. The situation is compounded by chronic poverty and underlying structural inequalities and discrimination based on gender, disability, ethnicity and religion. According to the 2020 Humanitarian Needs Overview, more than 985,000 people in Myanmar need humanitarian assistance. Of these, 864,000 people are experiencing critical problems related to physical and mental wellbeing.

The World Bank in Myanmar

[accessed 21 April 2021]

The World Bank has been working with partners in support of reforms that will benefit all of the people of Myanmar, including the poor and vulnerable.

Looking back a few years …

Advameg, Inc., Encyclopedia of the Nations

[accessed 17 December 2020]

Infrastructure is a major impediment to economic growth. Water treatment and distribution, sewage disposal, and irrigation systems, as well as power transmission and distribution, require up-grading. Industry faces chronic shortages of electricity. Roads are poor and many are not passable during parts of the year. Telephone facilities are lacking; in 1993 there were only 100,000 telephone lines for the entire country.

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