August 13, 2022

No education and no food


The children in Myanmar continue to suffer. In addition to the catastrophic situation with regard to schooling, the country's economic situation is now driving more and more families into famine - unfortunately, as is so often the case, the weakest members of society are particularly affected.

Since opening up in 2010, the country had initially enjoyed an upward trend with an average annual growth rate of six percent. After the coup year of 2021, however, economic output fell by 17%. The World Bank is forecasting growth of a maximum of one percent for 2022; Myanmar is therefore far behind its Asian neighbors.

The economic situation is of course also reflected in society: since the coup in 2021, people there have lost more than half of their income on average, while the prices of basic foodstuffs have risen by up to 70 percent. The pandemic has made this situation even worse: 80 percent of families have to cope with huge income losses; 40 percent of the population lives below the national poverty line.

Many parents go without enough food so that their children have enough to eat. In many households, both the father and mother have lost their jobs. The job market is extremely poor and many are forced to send their children out to work. This is the only way they can afford the most important things in everyday life. However, this exacerbates the already extremely tense situation in the education sector: in addition to the many school closures in the country, more and more children and young people who could still go to school are now having to drop out in order to earn money for their families. Yet well-trained staff would be so vital for the country. In the last two years of the pandemic in particular, we have witnessed the lack of qualified doctors, nurses, IT experts, teachers and much more in Myanmar .

However, with the current combination of hunger and poor education among the upcoming generation, there is hardly any room for hope here: on the contrary, it is to be expected that this trend will worsen if nothing is done to counteract it soon.

Unfortunately, the current government is not taking any measures to address this. The population is therefore dependent on help from NGOs and from abroad. We at Artemed Stiftung are doing our utmost to support our colleagues at the Irrawaddy River Doctors and at the mother and child center in Bogale. We listen to their reports during conference calls and read their monthly reports with great admiration. We are amazed at what the team manages to do under these difficult and dangerous conditions.

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