HelpAge Myanmar Country Office
HelpAge International established a country office in Myanmar in 2008. It has since been working closely with communities to develop multifunctional Older People’s Self Help Groups (OPSHG) and inclusive Village Development Committees (VDC) in the most marginalised areas of Myanmar.
Currently, HelpAge International in Myanmar implements five projects in seven regions across the country.
- Supporting Older People Self-Help Groups in Ayeyarwady, Mandalay, and Yangon regions in Myanmar (KOICA New Project): This KOICA new project is funded by KOICA and HelpAge International starting in January 2015 until December 2017. The ten new villages in Ayeyarwady and Mandalay, and 5 wards in Yangon are intended to increase social protection and inclusion of older people. Achieving the project goal, the OPSHGs are designed to be sustainable and to have a strong informal social protection mechanism. These OPSHGs, aim to strengthen older people’s participation and have their voice heard in township and national level.
- Safer Coastal and Urban Communities through Disaster Risk Reduction in Myanmar Project: Since 2012, HelpAge International, in partnership with five humanitarian agencies, has been implementing a community-based disaster risk reduction programme in hazard-prone coastal and urban areas. It helps communities better prepare for cyclones and minimise the impact on their lives and livelihoods. This project increases resilience and reduces the vulnerability of local communities by establishing mechanisms to disseminate information and replicate disaster risk reduction activities. This project successfully tested an inclusive CBDRR model.
- Strengthening public health capacity to respond to Myanmar’s disease transition (NCD Health) Project: The project objective is to strengthen the University of Public Health (UPH) and wider health stakeholders to support evidence-based policy and improved health services, particularly in preparation for the transition towards non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in Myanmar. In partnership with UPH, University of Medicine 2, and Thammasat University (Thailand), the project will advocate for NCD policy and action at the national level, as well as improve NCD knowledge among public health implementers in all townships in the country.
- Strengthening the Ministry of Social Welfare to Fulfil Its Role in Expanding Social Protection: Since April 2014 HelpAge International has been implementing a 3 year project in collaboration with the Ministry of Social Welfare Relief and Resettlement, and with support from Livelihoods and Food Security Trust Fund (LIFT). The project was designed around two distinct objectives: To build the capacity of MSWRR to define its mandate on social protection and to make informed decisions in choosing and designing specific social protection instruments, and to support the Ministry in delivering national policies on ageing and building related capacity.
- Dry Zone Social Protection Project: The Dry Zone Social Protection project is implemented by HelpAge International in partnership with the Mandalay YMCA with LIFT fund since December 2015. To help vulnerable households in Myanmar’s Dry Zone to cope and manage risks, this project will expand social protection by enhancing informal community-based mechanisms and practices; strengthening government and community capacity to protect the poor; and delivering cash benefits to two of the most vulnerable groups (people with disabilities and older people). This 3 years project responds to Resilience and reduced vulnerability.
Partners in Myanmar
The Myanmar country office delivers the programmes directly in the community and supports local network in advocating the rights of older people at the national level. We have one ageing network committee which comprises 12 member organisations working for older people and cross-cutting issues. We also work together with the National Federation of Older People which represents all the 126 OPSHGs formed across regions and states. Both the network and federation were established in 2014 and since then have involved in national consultations of policy on ageing, drafting laws related to older persons, formulating a 20-years national policy on ageing and collaborating in 5 years action plan on ageing with the government and other key stakeholders. HelpAge International Myanmar continuously collaborates with the network and federation in organising Age Demands Actions campaigns against ageism which integrates in HelpAge global network platform.