You are here
Chin State on the western border of Myanmar is characterized by chronic underdevelopment and poverty. Malnutrition is widespread, and water and sanitation infrastructure is virtually non-existent. Access to education and health services is limited, largely because of the area's extreme isolation.
The IRC carried out this study within the framework of a SIDA-funded, WaSH-focused disaster risk reduction program. Although considered an EMMA at the time, the study aimed to map the baseline rice market system under normal conditions in order to gain insight into how to improve people's livelihoods and food security in times of stress. In this sense, it was really an early PCMMA. The target population of this report were the residents of 35 villages in Paletwa Township.
Though the target communities all produce rice, they face shortages for five months a year, during which time they rely on a market chain originating in Kyauk Taw Township for their rice supply. Though the market chain that provides rice to Paletwa is not well integrated with other regional markets, it appears to be relatively secure. Meanwhile, coping strategies employed at the household level during times of scarcity often involve the unsustainable exploitation of natural resources. Finally, the study determined that Paletwa does not seem to be vulnerable to large scale disasters.
This assessment recommends that any development or relief programs targeting Paletwa Township should seek to engage market actors so as to avoid doing harm. In addition, livelihoods support in the target area should focus on developing more sustainable, diversified and profitable strategies that help to protect the natural environment.