Myanmar is one of the poorest and least developed countries in Asia. In 2019, it ranked 145th out of 189 countries on the United Nations Development Program’s Human Development Index. The 2015 elections marked a historic milestone in the country’s political and economic transition. The democratically elected government took office with a huge popular mandate.
Although some sectors have undertaken important reforms, the level of poverty remains very high: 67% of workers live on $2 a day. Rural areas, remote border regions, mainly populated by ethnic minority groups, as well as territories where migrants and internally displaced populations live are particularly affected by poverty. One of the consequences of conflict and violence in Myanmar, including the Karen conflict, described as the world’s longest-running conflict or the most recent Rohingya crisis, is the displacement of more than 660,000 people within and outside the country.
The army took control of the country on February 1, 2021. FXB remains fully committed to serving the most vulnerable populations.
FXB in action
FXB began operations in Myanmar in 1992 to provide economic and social reintegration to 95 Burmese girls rescued from forced prostitution during a police raid in Thailand initiated by FXB founder Albina du Boisrouvray and the Thai government.
FXB then created a program in Myanmar to offer them an alternative to prostitution and allow for individualized reintegration, according to each girl’s aspirations and abilities. Many of them were involved in trafficking from a young age and had very little education. They, therefore, undertook basic vocational and management training and received a small amount in the form of seed capital to start an economic activity. As the program grew rapidly, FXB created its own vocational training center to extend its intervention to young people in extremely precarious situations and people infected with HIV/AIDS.
Since then, FXB has been developing complementary programs that promote respect for basic human rights and social justice in several states of Myanmar.