Food and Nutrition Security in Shan State
Title: Food and Nutrition Security in Shan State
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Health and Sports
Overall term: 2015 to 2019
Myanmar is one of the largest countries of South-East Asia, and also one of the poorest. It counts among the world’s least developed countries. Eighty per cent of the people practise subsistence farming and live off less than two US-dollars a day. One in six households is affected by food and nutrition insecurity. More than a third of children in Myanmar are physically and mentally underdeveloped due to chronic malnutrition. According to the World Bank, the child mortality rate of 47 per 1,000 live births is more than twice that of neighbouring Thailand. Drinking water supplies and the availability of sanitary facilities are often inadequate in the rural regions of the country. Diarrhoeal diseases are the second most common cause of mortality in children up to the age of five.
In selected village communities of eastern Shan State, the food and nutrition situation of people, especially of women (aged 15–49) and their infants (6–23 months), has improved.
The project is working to strengthen the expertise and performance of local actors in the field of food and nutrition security. It is active in three areas:
- Improvements to advisory services on nutrition and nutrition-relevant basic health services
- Diversification of food crop production
- Improvement of facilities and know-how for drinking water and hygiene practices
The project supports the national government’s priority policy of improving the food and nutrition situation of Myanmar society.
The project contributes directly to achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and SDGs, in particular Goal 2: end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture. It will also contribute to SDG 3 (health care, particularly mother-and-child) and 6 (clean water and sanitation).
Besides the Ministry of Health and Sports, the project partners include the agricultural departments and their structures at district and local levels. It works to improve managerial and technical skills for food and nutrition security among local and international non-governmental organisations. Moreover, it cooperates with the German organisation Malteser Hilfsdienst in the delivery of nutritional advice and nutrition-relevant basic health services, and with Deutsche Welthungerhilfe in the use of cross-sector approaches to promote balanced nutrition. The local NGO Mawk Kon carries out agricultural diversification activities as well as ‘WASH’ interventions to improve the drinking water supply, basic sanitation and hygiene. Furthermore, the project promotes private-sector approaches in cooperation with the Fruit- and Vegetable Association to increase the agricultural production.
These approaches combine the delivery of short-term assistance with the laying of a foundation for long-term, sustainable development, in line with the German Government’s strategy on transitional development assistance.