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Myanmar

Fighting malnutrition through food security, access to clean water and improved health.

Aims of the project

The project is working to improve food safety, access to clean water and the state of health in three towns in the Magway region: Myothit, Magway and Minhla. The area of the territory affected measures 5700 km² and covers a distance of about 160 km from the eastern border to the western. Around 600 thousand people benefit from the project.

 

The project concentrates on three sectors in particular: services to extend agriculture and water for irrigation; safe water supply, hygiene and sanitation services; basic healthcare services in the townships. In the course of 2017, feasibility studies were completed with the support of the University of Milan and the National Health Institute (ISS). The Memorandum of Understanding was signed by the Department of Public Health at the Ministry of Health and Sport, in the presence of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation. With the guaranteed full support of the Ministry of Health and Sport and the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation, the Eni Foundation has committed to funding the project and assuming responsibility for managing it.

The Magway region and its economy

The project is being conducted in an area located in the Magway region, one of Myanmar’s central regions that has a total population of 3,917,055, about 7% of the overall population. It has an agriculture-based economy, but oil production and other extractive industries are also present.

The Myanmar Ministry of Health and Sport and the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation are playing a fundamental role in guaranteeing the full cooperation of all the authorities involved in implementing the project. Several Magway regional departments are directly involved, including the Agriculture Department, the Rural Development Department, the Irrigation and Water Department and the Public Health Department. They are making available structures, technical staff, equipment and all other additional support required.

 

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Scientific partners

Among the scientific partners, the University of Milan will continue to provide technical support, especially in the areas of water and agriculture, and ISS will support the health sector. The project ended in 2020 with an investment of €2.2 million.

In keeping with the strategy laid out by the Myanmar Ministry of Health and Sport and the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation, the project achieved the results described below.

Agricultural component:

  • Improved crop yield and resilience for farmers through support from the rural consulting service and the promotion of Good Agricultural Practices (GAP): better access to irrigation technology applied to vegetable growing and to improved nutritional safety at the family/community level;

  • computerised and systematised agricultural yield, water supply and data on groundwater collection, through the implementation of a multi-level, knowledge-based management system.

Water component:

  • better access to domestic and drinking water by means of 20 new wells in the priority villages selected jointly;
  • improved access to water for irrigation by means of 11 new and modernised water tanks in the priority sites selected jointly.

Healthcare component:

  • change to community behaviour through greater awareness among the general populations as regards hygiene and other significant issues concerning maternal and child health;
  • improved supply of services in rural health centres and health sub-centres through dedicated training on primary health problems;
  • support at a regional level for townships tackling non-communicable diseases and improved healthcare for the elderly;
  • improved link between the community and the public health system through the supply of supplementary food and micronutrients for children affected by acute malnutrition;
  • bolstered healthcare services from village to health sub-centres through the supply of energy, water installations, equipment and furniture.

Following a tender, the NGOs implementing the project for the Eni Foundation were selected.

  • The NGO AVSI Foundation (AVSI) is tasked with improving access to clean water. Founded in 1972, this non-profit organisation runs cooperative projects on development and humanitarian aid worldwide. The health and agriculture component is being implemented by Progetto Continenti Myanmar (PC Myanmar), a non-religious, non-political NGO founded in Rome in 1989.