To contribute to more equitable development across the country and support national reconciliation efforts, by reducing poverty, food insecurity and undernutrition and increasing resilience amongst the most vulnerable communities.
WFP has been present in Myanmar since 1994 and has implemented several food assistance interventions to improve nutrition, food security and livelihood access for the most vulnerable populations in remote areas throughout the country. WFP works in Rakhine, Shan, Chin and Kachin States as well as in Magway Region.
WFP’s assistance targets poor and vulnerable households, children under 5, pregnant and lactating women, schoolchildren and their families, as well as patients receiving treatment for HIV and tuberculosis. WFP works through five activities:
WFP provides relief assistance that help families who may find themselves temporarily in a state of food insecurity: persons internally displaced by conflict and returnees who need additional support in resettling; people affected by natural disasters; and extremely food insecure and destitute households in Northern Rakhine State, where livelihood activities are limited.
The nutrition program aims to reduce ante and post-natal undernutrition by addressing the nutritional needs of children under 5 and pregnant and lactating women. Malnutrition in the first 1,000 days of a child’s life – from conception to 2 years of age – can lead to irreversible damage. WFP provides fortified foods for children to reduce the prevalence of malnutrition in targeted areas, and provides food and micronutrient supplements for pregnant and lactating women that maximize their caloric and micronutrient intake.
WFP’s Assets Creation activities help communities to build or repair community assets once acute food needs have been met. These activities build household and community assets that can: i) mitigate the impact of future disasters, such as land terracing projects that counter soil erosion; ii) increase access to markets such as the construction of road networks; and iii) diversify income sources. Food is the main source of assistance during asset creation, but WFP will also use cash transfers where appropriate.
Educational development is a major government policy goal, and WFP collaborates with the Ministry of Education and UNICEF on school feeding with a view to improving children’s access to and retention in primary schools. In schools assessed as vulnerable or with low education indicators, WFP will provide a daily snack of fortified biscuits for schoolchildren to encourage participation and increase learning potential. Where food insecurity or low enrolment rates justify additional support, WFP also provides a take-home ration of rice as an incentive for families to continue sending their children to school.
In addition, WFP provides food assistance for people receiving treatment for HIV/TB. Monthly food assistance is provided for patients living with HIV on anti-retroviral therapy (ART) and TB patients on directly observed treatment, short-course (DOTS), which help to ensure nutritional recovery and treatment success.