More than a quarter of Myanmar’s population live under the national poverty line. Many rural families live at or below subsistence level through small farming and fishing endeavours. Farmers are often trapped in deep cyclical debt due to lack of access to productive loans and the use of informal money lending channels.

High poverty levels means many live without adequate nutrition and a majority cannot afford basic health and education services. Poverty also drives food insecurity and under nutrition by limiting people’s access to food. Undernourished people are less productive and child malnutrition has severe, permanent consequences for physical and intellectual development. As a result, hunger helps to entrench poverty in Myanmar.

Even for small business owners who own home businesses and hover around the poverty line, many still do not have access to banking services that will help expand and grow their livelihoods. In such instances, financial services are needed to help support and expand their businesses in order for them to better provide for their families.


What we do: 

Save the Children works to alleviate poverty by introducing household food security and livelihood strategies with the aim of ensuring children’s access to nutritious food, protection and education. We work with vulnerable families, including ethnic minorities, people with disabilities, and those affected by natural disasters, to ensure that nutritious food and social safety nets are available and that families can access it.

Save the Children supports families with the tools to produce nutritious food for consumption and sale and assets for food processing, rearing livestock and other non-farming activities. Children are more likely to be food secure, educated and protected when the family has a solid asset base to sustain their livelihoods and cope with stress and shocks such as rising food prices or climate-induced natural or man-made disasters.

For small business owners, Save the Children provides financial services that help grow and expand businesses. So far, these services have reached over 25,000 people in peri-urban areas around Yangon and in rural areas scattered across the country.