In Myanmar, Interfaith Cooperation works with local partners to support young women and men in holding governments accountable for improving their access to public services, particularly health and education.
Population: 55,622,506 million inhabitants (2018)
Proportion of the population below the poverty line: 25.6% (estimate 2016)
GDP per capita: $ 6.3 (2017)
Reading and writing skills: 75.6% (estimate 2016)
Life expectancy: Women 70.3 years. Men: 67 years. (2018)
Children per woman: 2.13 (2018)
Ranking measured by prosperity and development: No. 148 of 189 countries (Human Development Index 2018)
President: Htin Kyaw since 2016 (Aung San Suu Kyi acts as de facto leader – she can not hold the presidency because she has children who are foreign nationals)
Sources: CIA World Fact Book and UN (Human Development Index)
Despite significant natural resources and strategic location, Myanmar is one of the poorest countries in Southeast Asia. The reason must not least be found in a half-century military dictatorship. The country has only in recent years taken steps towards establishing democracy, including with the holding of elections in 2015. This has meant that most international sanctions against Myanmar have been lifted, and it is flowing in with foreign investment and development organizations.
But there is still a long way to go. Despite the fact that one in three children is malnourished and one in five children does not complete primary school, the government spends only one percent of the national budget on health and two percent on education. The military still has great power and sits in several of the powerful ministries and 25 percent of the parliamentary seats, just as the Chief of Defense is not subject to either parliament, government or president. The Rohingya Muslim minority in Myanmar is currently being subjected to what the UN describes as ethnic cleansing. More than 700,000 people have already sought refuge in neighboring Bangladesh.
According to A2zgov, more than 40 percent of Myanmar’s population is young, and they have limited access to or are completely excluded from influence at both the national and local levels. A burgeoning youth movement is fighting for their voices to be heard and for promoting equal access for young women and men to public services, in particular health and education.
Democratic participation and youth representation
Financial opportunities and decent work
Progressive taxation and equal access to women and men in public services
Intercultural Cooperation works with ActionAid Myanmar and local partners to support young people in organizing to work with and hold authorities accountable for the provision of public services, including in particular health and education. There will be a special focus on ensuring equal access for women to these.
Rohingya on the run
International Cooperation works with ActionAid Bangladesh to help Rohingya (Muslim minorities) who have fled what the UN describes as ethnic cleansing in Myanmar and are now living in very harsh conditions in refugee camps in Bangladesh. It happens i.a. by ensuring the safety and needs of women in particular, as well as ensuring that refugees can hold authorities and relief organizations accountable for the assistance provided. Read more here: The aid reaches the Rohingya
THIS IS HOW WE WORK
The Interfaith Cooperation’s approach is based on international human rights, including that people have the right to a life free from poverty and to participate in public affairs. We focus on supporting people in organizing themselves to create progressive change in their society. Our methods include support for and collaboration on organizational development, new alliances, sustainable alternatives, information and campaigns, as well as documentation and analysis. International Cooperation also supports ActionAid Myanmar in educating “Youth Fellows” and in creating and developing “Global Platforms” in the local areas, which can support young women and men in organizing themselves so that their voices are heard in political processes and to demand better public services, especially in health and education.
Inter-People’s Cooperation contributes to Myanmar being able to achieve the 17 world goals for sustainable development, which in 2015 were adopted by all countries in the UN. As a member of ActionAid International , which operates in 45 countries, Intercultural Cooperation can help create coherence between local, national, regional and global initiatives to combat poverty and promote democracy and sustainable development.
Cooperation between peoples is part of the basic idea of Mellemfolkeligt Samvirke. In Myanmar, International Cooperation cooperates directly with ActionAid Myanmar and thereby with a number of their local partners. It ensures that the work in Myanmar is locally driven and anchored, and it contributes to the results of the work being sustainable.
The work of Interfaith Cooperation in Myanmar is supported by our members and by Danida.