Social Welfare

Myanmar has made progress in poverty reduction and stabilization of HIV/AIDS in the general population.

Currently poverty is at an estimated 26% of the population and runs twice as high in rural areas where 70% of the population resides. Remote border areas and emerging conflict areas are particularly vulnerable. Good performance in recent years due to economic reforms and development partners has encouraged the reduction of poverty from 26% in 2010 to the projected 16% by 2015.

Access to electricity is limited to approximately 26% of the population. Firewood remains a source of energy for the bulk of the population.

In addition, Myanmar has done well to level the HIV/AIDS epidemic amoung the general population (15-49 years old) to below 1 percent. In addition, since 2007, Myanmar has achieved the goal of a 50% reduction in malaria morbidity and mortality. The TB incidence rate has declined since 1995 and the target of halving TB mortality compared with 1990 levels was met in 2010. The TB-related Millennium Development Goals are likely to be achieved by 2015.

Myanmar is susceptible to climate change and extreme weather. Women and children are particularly vulnerable which local communities are still unprepared.

Most social indicators are very low. For example, 32 percent of children under five suffer from malnutrition. Limited access to and the poor state of infrastructure are major impediments to providing basic health and education services and for economic development. Almost half the roads are not passable during the monsoon season.Telecommunications and Internet access is also very limited. About 73 percent of the population lacks access to electricity, and the consumption of electricity is one of the lowest in the world – 20 times less than the world average. Existing power infrastructure can only meet about half of the current demand, resulting in frequent blackouts and rationing of the electricity supply. Access to drinking water is also limited in many areas.