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Rural development efforts in Myanmar to focus on vulnerable fishing communities

Workshop outcomes

At the end of September, the Myanmar Department of Rural Development, FAO and partners hosted a workshop to present the intial  research findings from a national survey on social protection and poverty dimensions in support of rural development and poverty reduction in Myanmar. The workshop was opened by H.E.U. Tin Ngwe, Deputy Minister for Livestock, Fisheries and Rural Development  and by Ms Bui Thi Lan, the FAO Representative in Myamnar.

The initial findings discussed by 80 representatives from key ministries, representatives of all 14 states and regions highlighted that:

  • Poverty definitions in Myanmar should include the livelihoods dimension, reflecting the priorities of rural communities.
  • Livelihood creation and increased access to low risk credit should be reflected in rural development and poverty reduction programmes as key priority areas.
  • Programmes for poverty reduction and rural development should undertake activities to address the increased vulnerability of female headed households, households dependent on casual labour as their primary income source, landless households, households with persons with disabilities, and households in fishing communities all demonstrating higher levels of vulnerability.
  • Increased access to effective and appropriate social protection in rural communities is necessary as a key component of poverty reduction and rural development.
  • Priority should be given to vulnerable fishing communities for poverty reduction and rural development, particularly to increase access to appropriate and effective social assistance. More emphasis is needed on natural resource management and livelihood diversity. Long-term monitoring of the effects of climate change in fishing communities is recommended.
  • Rural development and poverty reduction programmes should include activities to increase knowledge and practice of natural resource management at community level, and support development of effective links between community action and national policy.
  • Poverty reduction programmes should seek to address the issue of debt burdens by increasing access to appropriate financial assistance, including low and no-interest loans.  
  • Rural development activities should seek to strengthen social capital by working together with community organizations, and seek to increase their effectiveness and inclusiveness.
  • Rural development and poverty reduction programmes should actively address the needs of landless households.
  • Rural development and poverty reduction should seek to increase the livelihood diversification of rural households.
  • Poverty reduction and rural development should include measures to reduce impacts of natural disasters and monitor effects of climate change.

The study was presented and discussed with international partners on Wednesday 30 September in Yangon. A meeting report with the full research findings will be soon available.

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