The first democratic elections in Myanmar, which took place in 2015, generated a wave of optimism. Internal reforms led to improvements in social welfare and rapid economic growth of above seven percent per year which had cut poverty rates in half by 2017.
Despite the progress, chronic poverty, protracted displacement, food insecurity, limited social support networks, and deep inequalities cast a shadow over Myanmar’s new dawn.
Acted launched its operations in Myanmar in August 2008, as an immediate response to Cyclone Nargis. Between 2008 and 2010, Acted’s primary focus was on disaster relief and rehabilitation activities for affected communities. Acted Myanmar is experienced in food security, water, sanitation, livelihood, and hygiene programmes. Since 2012, Acted expanded its operations into Rakhine state, with recent projects focusing on infrastructural rehabilitations, and inter-communal collaborations through job creation activities.
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, Acted also included a PPE production activity by local community members: cloth masks tailored by local women in the townships of Yangon and Rakhine. This resulted in over 173,000 masks produced benefiting over 86,000 recipients and 67 tailors found a new income generation source during the global pandemic time.
Following the COVID-19 outbreak which cost the garment factory workers in Hlaing Tha Ya Township their jobs since March 2020, Acted and the Schneider Electric designed this project which enabled household tailors to generate income while protecting local communities from the deadly coronavirus. With the help of Department of Technical Vocational Education and Training (DTVET) and Department of Social Welfare (DSW), Acted have been able to identify the vulnerable population to receive cloth masks. With the provision of materials and technical guidance to the 11 selected tailors, 10,155 masks have been produced and distributed to 5,078 people.
In 2020, Acted Myanmar established the 3Zero Platform in Myanmar, seeking to build capacity, empower and bring together local civil society actors in the Yangon area to achieve a greater impact in advocating initiatives to hold governmental actors accountable and advise authorities on concrete implementation measures in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
This project benefitted 27 new, active members, both organizations (20 CSOs, 5 INGOs) and individuals, of the 3Zero national Platform. The project also indirectly benefited private sector businesses, national government authorities, and decision makers through enhanced connectivity and capability of the 3Zero members.