Thailand is often depicted as a true development success story. Four decades of progress in social and economic development have greatly reduced poverty and moved Thailand from a low-income to an upper-middle income country. While Thailand successfully stemmed the infection rate of Covid-19 within a few months of its arrival, the economic impact has been severe and the widespread job losses have hit the poorest hardest, especially the Myanmar refugee communities.

In terms of broad development outcomes, Thailand struggles against poor education outcomes and skills matching which could hamper the employment prospects for the younger generation.

Thailand also faces a range of internal challenges which have led to a recent spike in poverty rates and regional inequalities: Thailand is home to one of the oldest modern internal conflicts in Asia that is still active within the Muslim-majority southern provinces. The conflict-affected south thus became the region with the highest poverty rate for the first time in 2017.

ACTED has been present in Thailand since 2013, and operates in the northern and southern provinces. In the Mae Hong Son province, ACTED provides vocational trainings in the refugee camps of Ban Mai Nai Soi and Ban Mae Surin which include modules on: life skills, business and entrepreneurship to help the refugees rebuild their self-reliance both inside and outside the camps. Also in the south, ACTED implements workforce development activities, targeting vulnerable youth to help tackle existing economic inequalities and the lack of work opportunities in the region.


ACTED in Thailand

Our achievements in 2020...

>5,000 people
graduated from VT and life-skill courses
>260 refugees
benefitted from internship programs in Myanmar
15 Camp-based organisations
benefitted from capacity building

In Thailand, ACTED provides refugee populations residing in two refugee camps along the Thai-Myanmar border and vulnerable youth in the south with comprehensive and integrated livelihoods support.

ACTED’s livelihood activities focus on advanced-level vocational, life skill and small business development trainings as well as on strengthening cross-border cooperation between key stakeholders in order to find sustainable solutions for the most vulnerable populations in the country.

In addition, ACTED works toward strengthening the capacity of local CSOs and government-sponsored vocational institutions to be more inclusive and responsive to both market and youth needs.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, ACTED provided an integrated emergency prevention responses by distributing kits and enhancing awareness of vulnerable population regarding the risk of Covid-19.

Vocational Training students of the Advanced Sewing Course, ACTED’s training center in the Ban Mae Surin refugee camp, Thailand, October 2017

Marginalized youth in the south of Thailand have witnessed a critical level of the poverty, inequality and joblessness.

ACTED Thailand’s “USAID Achieve” project contributes to the goal of a world of Zero Exclusion and Zero Poverty, through ensuring this target group equal access to vocational and life skill training, internship program, and small enterprise development programming.

Current projects

Ban Mae Surin refugee camp, 2017
ACTED staff and students at ACTED's vocational training centre in Ban Mae Surin refugee camp, Thailand, October 2017
Students at ACTED's training centre in Ban Mae Surin refugee camp, Thailand, October 2017
Ban Mae Surin refugee camp, 2017
Ban Mae Surin refugee camp, 2017
ACTED vocational training centre in Ban Mae Surin refugee camp, Thailand, October 2017