Myanmar: Working with communities in Kachin to build sustainable livelihoods

Myanmar: Working with communities in Kachin to build sustainable livelihoods

Rich in natural resources and cultural diversity, Kachin, Myanmar’s northernmost state, is home to a number of ethnic groups, languages, cuisines and festivals. Beyond the beauty and diversity though, the people of this hill region have been facing significant humanitarian challenges in recent years.
Article 03 July 2023 Myanmar

Since 2011, over 100,000 people have been displaced within Kachin because of the ongoing armed conflict. The community has been greatly impacted by the violence and many have been struggling to cope with its effects on their lives and livelihoods. What were once thriving farmlands now lie abandoned and overgrown with wild bushes, while families struggle to make ends meet without their primary sources of income.

Amidst such a humanitarian situation, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has been working with the people of Kachin State to strengthen their resilience and help develop sustainable means of livelihood. We help newly displaced communities generate income by providing them with seed and fertilizers to grow staple crops and vegetables, funds to start small businesses and training to manage livestock besides vaccinations for farm animals. Here are some of the highlights of how we help those most in need.

Emergency response and economic support

As the fighting escalates, so do humanitarian needs. The ICRC provides emergency assistance to newly displaced communities. This includes food and other necessities such as temporary shelters and hygiene products.

We have been carrying out these activities throughout Kachin State for all communities since 2014. We supported over 70,000 people in 2022 through relief material, livelihood support and COVID-19 prevention items among other things, not only to meet their basic needs and expenses, but also to build their resilience.

Khurshed Musoyatov
an ICRC staff member from Kachin State

Livestock management

In 2022, in partnership with the Livestock Breeding and Veterinary Department, we worked with over 12,700 people, administering vaccinations to more than 16,500 farm animals and treating around 2,100 animals from hundreds of villages and camps within eight townships in Kachin State.

Kyaw Kyaw Myo/ICRC

Seng Ja, an ICRC veterinarian at our subdelegation in Myitkyina, explains, "Our goal is to minimize the mortality rate of chicken and pigs from annual disease outbreaks and improve meat consumption and production in the community. We also provide nutrition training and raise awareness on backyard pig farming to help people earn additional income."

Promoting agricultural activities

We distributed seed for the monsoon and winter seasons to nearly 16,000 people in 2022. We trained representatives from villages in Myitkyina, Waingmaw, Mansi, Mogaung, Mohnyin and Bhamo areas to improve farming techniques and share best practices with their respective communities. Through this initiative, we aim to reduce food costs and increase the food production capacity of families by cultivating a variety of vegetables and staple crops.

We are also providing support to our local partners in the agriculture sector as part of a multi-year programme. We are providing financial assistance and capacity-building support with the aim of improving and strengthening the technical support that they, in turn, provide to local farmers.