Myanmar was under an authoritarian regime for more than fifty years and experienced a period of incessant armed conflicts with many different groups involved in the long-running civil war. The 2015 democratic elections have brought the long-term democratic opposition led by Aung San Suu Kyi to power. However, the military still plays a crucial role in public affairs. Myanmar keeps struggling with armed conflicts, mainly affecting the poorest and marginalized people in the country.
Security operations in August-September 2017 by government armed forces led to a large-scale displacement of the Rohingya people, mostly to neighbouring Bangladesh. At the same time, the Rohingya population remaining in Myanmar face dire consequences: their basic rights are constantly violated as people are confined to villages with no access to food, health and education or to camps. Their freedom of movement is heavily restricted. In 2018, the situation in Kachin and Northern Shan States also worsened. Many people became trapped in conflict areas and many others became internally displaced because of the fighting.
People in Need has been working on Myanmar since 1997 when our organization began to support members of civil society groups. PIN provided humanitarian assistance after Cyclone Nargis in 2008-09 before the operations were moved to Thailand. In 2012, People in Need re-established a permanent office in Myanmar.
Our programs focuses primarily on knowledge transfer, capacity building and support of local initiatives in remote areas. We support civil society organizations that play a vital role in promoting the interests and the needs of local communities by opening public policy dialogue. Furthermore, our social cohesion program aims to promote tolerance and acceptance of diversity in communities in Kayin, Mon and Rakhine States. Through these activities, communities are able to find solutions to important problems, alleviate tensions in a non-violent way and secure harmony. In addition, we are working in areas affected by armed conflicts in Rakhine State and in Kachin State providing humanitarian assistance.