A largely rural, densely forested country, Myanmar is the world’s largest exporter of teak and is a principal source of jade, pearls, rubies and sapphires. It is endowed with extremely fertile soil and has important offshore oil and gas deposits. However, its people remain very poor and are getting poorer. (Source: www.bbc.co.uk).
The country is festooned with the symbols of Buddhism. Thousands of pagodas throng its ancient towns; these have been a focus for an increasingly important tourism industry. But while tourism has been a magnet for foreign investment, its benefits have hardly touched the people. Prostitution and HIV/AIDS are major problems. (Source: www.bbc.co.uk).
The ongoing civil war among the ethnic states in Myanmar causes many internally displaced persons (IDP) in the country and refugees to neighboring countries. Overall, the civil war affects the living condition of the whole of Myanmar.
Human rights violations occur frequently. Due to mismanagement, cronyism and high expenditures of the military, Myanmar’s economy is in severe crisis. The military government has been selling off the country’s natural resources to foreign investors, with no regard for the serious social and environmental impacts. Inflation rate increases every year, and the government has to control foreign exchange rate currencies. People have to take care of themselves in almost every aspect. Many villagers barely survive by collecting food in the fields or as poorly paid wage labourers.
During the 7th November 2010 election, Myanmar’s biggest military-backed party won the country’s first election in 20 by a landslide after a carefully choreographed vote denounced by pro-democracy parties as rigged to preserve authoritarian rule. (Source: Reuter, November 9, 2010).
terre des hommes Germany currently supports projects along the Thai-Myanmar border and inside of Myanmar. Most of the projects along the border concern children of migrant workers and children in refugee camps, with focus on education and health. Projects inside Myanmar are aimed at community development and income generation for the people at the grassroots.
Partners in Myanmar
- Karen Rivers Watch (KRW)
- Lokahta Cariya Foundation (LCF)
- Metta Development Foundation
- The Shan Health Committee
- Wat Fawiang Inn Education Committee
- Women’s Education for Advancement and Empowerment (WEAVE)