Myanmar continues to face multi-dimensional fragility across political, economic, security, social and environmental dimensions. Amid its ongoing crisis, the country faces a volatile macroeconomic situation with severe livelihoods disruption, deteriorating labour market outcomes and reversal of pre-crisis developmental gains, including towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Now nearing three years since the military takeover on 1 February 2021, and in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, the humanitarian crisis in Myanmar has spiked. An estimated 17.6 million people – around one-third of the population – needs humanitarian assistance, with over 1.6 million internally displaced persons (IDP). While IDPs are spread across Myanmar, the regions of Sagaing, Magway and Kayin have recorded especially high IDP numbers – in the hundreds of thousands owing principally to political conflict-related violence. Furthermore, climate-related disaster events, like Cyclone Mocha which hit western Myanmar in May 2023, deepen fragility and have put additional pressure on households already at the brink.
Myanmar’s civil conflict, which has intensified in the aftermath of the military takeover and in response to it, has severely disrupted the social and economic lives of the people. According to the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project, Myanmar has witnessed serious spikes in fatalities related to explosions or remote violence, violence against civilians, and riots from the first quarter of 2021 to the second quarter of 2023.
This ILO brief draws together information from a multitude of sources to capture and present key insights on the economic and labour market situation in Myanmar against the continuing backdrop of unrest and socioeconomic turmoil.