FAO and Belgium provide emergency agricultural assistance to conflict-affected communities in Kayin and Kayah states
Humanitarian needs in Myanmar continue to rise sharply since February 2021 as a result of political and economic upheaval and increased conflict. Approximately 27 percent of the population (14.4 million people) is in need of assistance and more than 700 000 people are internally displaced.
Agriculture is a source of livelihoods for nearly 70 percent of the population of Myanmar. The ongoing crisis is compouding the impacts of recurrent climate-induced shocks and COVID-19, posing an enormous threat to the livelihoods and food security of agriculture-dependent communities. Food production is declining, food prices are soaring, and 13.2 million people are already food insecure (compared to 2.8 million before the crisis). Moreover, according to the latest Food Security Monitoring Assessment by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Food Programme, 16 percent of surveyed households from 14 states/regions across the country do not have sufficient food intake1. In this context, vulnerable households are increasingly resorting to negative coping mechanisms such as the distress selling of their productive assets, which erodes their capacity to manage future shocks.
Through SFERA, the Government of the Kingdom of Belgium contributed USD 500 000 to FAO to mitigate the impact of the crisis on the most vulnerable households. With this generous contribution, FAO will provide emergency agricultural assistance to 2 000 vulnerable households (10 000 people) in conflict-affected Kayin and Kayah states, in eastern Myanmar. The intervention will include cash-based interventions to enable food-insecure households to cover their immediate needs. Moreover, FAO will provide the beneficiaries with vegetable production packages to enable them to produce up to 500 kg of nutrient-rich vegetables (worth USD 200 on the local market). The intervention will focus on female headed households (61 percent) and will be implemented during the dry season (August 2022–May 2023).