About 32 percent of Myanmar’s 50 million population, or 15.8 million people, are living in poverty, according to an assessment of the 2015 Myanmar Poverty and Living Conditions Survey. Of the 15.8 million people living below the poverty line, 13.8 million are in rural areas. Comprehensive and dynamic programs are required to support these vulnerable communities.

Since gaining independence from the United Kingdom in 1948, Burma/Myanmar has been embroiled in civil conflict among the country’s many ethnic groups. Elections in 2010 brought an end to nearly 40 years of military rule, but poverty lingers as the pace of development is slow, and frequent natural disasters pose major setbacks.

Episcopal Relief & Development supports a variety of diocesan agricultural and economic empowerment projects through the Church of the Province of Myanmar. We also work with the Men’s Association model farm for testing and teaching agricultural techniques and the Mothers’ Union economic empowerment program offering vocational training and micro-finance services through community self-help groups. These activities, along with trainings in disaster risk reduction, build resilience that will help communities recover more quickly from disasters. Additionally, education on personal hygiene, sanitation and natural resource management, as well as training on gender inclusion, improve health and support economic empowerment.

In 2018 the program will build on previous community development experience to work toward improving agricultural, economic and disaster resilience objectives.


Our work with Women focuses on helping communities promote the rights of women and children and move toward the vision that everyone deserves a life free from violence in a society where they are treated with dignity and respect. Only then can communities truly heal and thrive.


Our Climate-related work focuses on how families and communities can work
together to adapt to the effects of rapidly changing weather patterns. This work includes
preparing for and recovering from climate-influenced events such as floods, hurricanes and other disasters.

Burma-Myanmar* Press Releases and Stories

Fast Facts

Agriculture accounts for around 25% of Burma/Myanmar's GDP but 70% of its labor.

Over a quarter of the population lives in poverty.

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
Goal 1: No Poverty

Goal 1: No Poverty End poverty in all its forms everywhere  Learn more»

Goal 2: Zero Hunger

554be761359bb2c17e80f64e0f1fbdcdEnd hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture  Learn more »

Goal 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth

Goal 8: Decent Work and Economic GrowthPromote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all  Learn more »

Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities

Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and CommunitiesMake cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable  Learn more »

Goal 13: Climate Action

Goal 13: Climate ActionTake urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts  Learn more »

Goal 15: Life on Land

Goal 15: Life on LandSustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation, halt biodiversity loss  Learn more »

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Resources & Learning