FAO in Myanmar

UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization successfully supported flood-affected communities in Myanmar’s Magway Region


The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization has announced that it has successfully completed emergency life-saving livelihood response that reached some 23 000 people affected by the 2016 floods in Magway Region.

This time-critical assistance was made possible through the FAO-lead project, in collaboration with the implementing partners - Myanmar's Heart Development Organization (MHDO), Livestock, Breeding and Veterinary Department (LBVD) and Department of Agriculture (DoA) - and with financial support from the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) that in September 2016 allocated US$ 1 million.

To rapidly restore food production and livelihoods of affected by floods rural population, FAO has provided 2 800 farmers with 30 kg of quality chickpea or 16 kg of black gram seeds that were enough for one acre of land, accompanied by vegetable kits (including onion, tomato, yard long and bitter gourd seeds) and 45 kg of fertilizers. In addition to seed provision, 3 000 landless people were provided with two piglets and pig feed per household that complemented FAO’s efforts to improve households access to nutrient and protein-rich food.

“Timely funding from UN CERF permitted to provide farmers with necessary means without which they would not be able to recover fast after the disaster,” said FAO Representative Ms Xiaojie Fan. “This agricultural and livestock distribution had an enormous positive impact on rural population affected by the 2016 floods, because it contributed to maintain food security at household level and avoid further risks of malnutrition.”

Last year floods caused widespread devastation and particularly heavily impacted the agriculture sector, as many farmlands have been damaged by water just prior to harvest season. In order to enhance the understanding of hazard impacts, strengthen beneficiary identification and increase the overall  technical robustness of this CERF-funded project , FAO used drones to gather timely and scientifically reliable information. The application of drones in this project was inspired by pioneering work of FAO with the Department of Agriculture in the Philippines.

“In the aftermath of crisis, when people are in need of immediate life-saving support, even short delays can cause detrimental implications for their lives and livelihoods. Designing accurate emergency interventions require detailed assessments that help to estimate damages of floods in the agriculture sector,” said FAO Senior Resilience Officer Mr Andrea Berloffa. “FAO goes beyond traditional ways of working and in collaboration with the Myanmar Aerospace Engineering University (MAEU), applies new and cost-efficient technologies, such as drones, that allow for increased availability of timely and reliable data as a crucial component to augment efficiency and accuracy of emergency support.”

UN CERF remains among key donors for the FAO emergency interventions in Myanmar, having contributed a total of US$ 3 million last year. All emergency response interventions funded by the CERF through FAO helped to reinforce and protect rural livelihoods affected by disasters and underscored the importance and appropriateness of emergency livelihood responses in humanitarian contexts.