About us

About UNDP in Myanmar

UNDP has been providing development assistance to the people of Myanmar since the 1950s. UNDP operated under a restricted mandate from 1993 until 2012 implementing the Human Development Initiative programme which provided assistance directly to communities and individuals for improving their lives and livelihoods. 

In 2013, UNDP began working through two country programmes, and between 2018 and 2020 the focus shifted to direct support to the Myanmar Government. 

Following the military takeover in 2021, UNDP Myanmar pivoted to directly target the extremely vulnerable by meeting their basic needs and supporting community recovery, through the Community First Programme: 2021-2023. 

UNDP Myanmar will expand operations from 57 to 77 townships across Myanmar, including in Rakhine, and areas controlled by SAC, EAOs and those under mixed control.  

We have and extensive presence with 4 field offices covering 11 states and regions, with offices  in Mon State - covering Mon and the southeastern regions including Bago – and Kachin and Shan states. UNDP also has a field office in Rakhine State and a sub-office in northern Rakhine. 

UNDP Myanmar works with an extensive network of local CSO, CBO, grassroots partners and community leaders established by UNDP under the Human Development Initiative which started in 1993. These networks remain operational, and UNDP has been able to quickly connect and deliver support through them despite rapid changes in Myanmar’s political and social landscape. 


What do we want to accomplish?

Build resilience among the most vulnerable to future shocks—economic, health, conflict and climate induced—while addressing immediate needs is at the heart of the humanitarian-development-peace nexus approach that underpins the new UNDP strategy in Myanmar.  

The strategic pivot to the Community First Programme aims to meet the basic needs of the most vulnerable populations and to foster resilience to current and future shocks.  

Interventions adopt a human-rights based approach and seek to preserve the foundations for democratic participation and respect for multi-stakeholder inclusion. 


What are our results?

With support from a range of partners, UNDP has made some significant achievements across its projects since mid 2021: 


ENCORE – Enabling Community Recovery and Resilience
  • 80,000 of the most vulnerable in Mon, Kachin, Shan and Rakhine states and Mandalay region met their urgent basic needs through in-kind and cash support after being impacted by floods and COVID-19. 

  • 37,000 farmers and their families in the Dry Zone were provided with quality seeds and organic fertilizer. 

  • 50,000 people in Mon State were provided with access to improved basic infrastructure such as village connection roads (earth and bitumen); concrete bridges; water supply systems with a tube well, and agricultural drainage canals. 

  • Civil society organisations and women’s rights organization in Mon and Kayin State have improved organisational and operational capacities and community engagement. 

  • Community consultations with people in 400 villages across five states and regions prioritized interventions to directly support more than 300,000 beneficiaries. 

Civil Society Project 
  • A 20-strong network of CSOs established, supported by UNDP, and working in 140 of Myanmar’s 330 townships. 

  • 88,000 ethnic minority people and their families across 500 villages (half of them IDPs) provided with legal assistance, mostly related to housing, land and property rights. 

  • 280 paralegals – mostly female – now working together through 5 national networks. 

  • 1,300 people at risk in seven states and regions provided with legal and logistical support. 

Myanmar Development Observatory 
  • Published 4 high-quality, analytical reports in the past year, covering the impacts of the military takeover and COVID-19 on households, human welfare, and women, including release of a joint report with UN Women. 

  • Interviewed 700 businesspeople to identify economic and business constraints, uncertainty, and opportunities. This provides a rich source of information about how micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) can be supported and sustained in the challenging economic environment. 

  • Created a Vulnerability to Conflict Index which ranks all 330 townships in Myanmar according to the incidents of violence experienced since 1 February 2021 and enables correlation between the degree of civilian exposure to violence and other data.

  • Established the Myanmar Sustainable Development Goal Monitoring Mechanism, in partnership with 15 other UN agencies, which will provide up-to-date data and support analysis on critical measures of vulnerability through the SDG framework. 

Digital Transformations 
  • Design of a tele-health digital platform to deliver urgent and accessible healthcare that is both private and mobile. 

  • Development of an integrated virtual education services platform, linking students to tertiary education from universities outside Myanmar and supporting vocational education based on the demand for skilled workers. 

Private Sector Partnerships 
  • Supporting businesses through the Myanmar Sustainable Business Network, a forum for navigating the new economic context and adopting responsible business practices. 

  • Trained businesses on human rights due diligence. 

  • Increased family income for 5,000 people through a livelihood pilot connecting vulnerable urban youth with businesses. 

  • Supported 50 women led MSMEs – employing 500 people – through technical assistance to undergo business transformation, with access to finance for higher performing enterprises for business growth. 

Rakhine Triple Nexus 
  • Livelihood and income generation reaching 500,000 people and families in 6 townships over two years, with geographical coverage doubling in the past year. 
Urban Resilience Project 
  • Reaching 100,000 of the most vulnerable people, as identified by the communities themselves, with food baskets and clean drinking water. 

  • Nexus approach adopted to provide rapid response beneficiaries with more sustainable livelihood options.  

  • 100 young people trained and in full-time jobs or internships with private sector partners, helping their families move off humanitarian support.  

  • Needs assessment for providing sustainable sources of clean drinking water completed in 4 peri-urban townships.