Our new aid programme in Myanmar focuses on developing agriculture, and lifting knowledge and skills - particularly in governance and English language.

Image showing total aid for Myanmar 2015/16

Myanmar is one of the least developed country in the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and is only just emerging from five decades of economic and political isolation. We're supporting Myanmar to achieve sustainable economic development through a new bilateral programme. Myanmar also receives development assistance through regional initiatives including the ASEAN programme, scholarships, and other funds. The New Zealand Aid Programme’s work in Myanmar has been steadily increasing since 2011.

Our work in Myanmar is guided by our priority areas for ASEAN - agriculture, disaster risk management, and knowledge and skills. We have an new expanded focus on the least development members of ASEAN which means over the next three years, we'll increase our overall aid investment in Myanmar through regional, multi-country and bilateral initiatives.

What we're supporting

We're working closely with the Myanmar Government and other partners to deliver effective aid activities.

Priority Activities and outcomes

Increase economic and food security benefits from agriculture

Increasing food security and income from livestock by controlling foot and mouth disease through a five-year, $15 million activity starting in Myanmar and later extending to Laos. Two foot and mouth disease-free zones will be established through vaccination of 80% of cattle in those areas. 1,800 farmers and traders are expected to benefit in the control zones.

Improving profitability of the dairy sector through a five year $6.1 million dairy excellence project. The project will help provide increased incomes for farmers and safe food for consumers. So far, 20 participants have been trained in New Zealand on farm management and cheese making, and a milk quality laboratory has been upgraded in Mandalay. It's anticipated 5,000 farmers will benefit from the project.

Reducing rural poverty, improving food security and generating more sustainable farming systems through a five year $12 million winter crop activity in Rakhine State. The activity focuses on improving winter crop diversification and the management of water in the dry season. Up to 1,250 farmers are expected to benefit.

Improve knowledge, skills and basic education

Building human capacity and leadership in a three year Myanmar Young Leaders Programme (MYLP). The programme aims to support Myanmar’s peaceful transition to democracy while building strong and enduring links with New Zealand. MYLP brings eight young leaders to New Zealand every year to study governance, economy and society.

Lifting English language skills in the education sector through in-country English language training for 60 education officials. This activity includes a New Zealand study tour for 40 English teacher educators to examine New Zealand’s Teaching English as a Second Language methodology and curriculum.

We also support Myanmar through a number of regional initiatives across ASEAN.

Recent achievements

Priority  Achievement

Increase economic and food security benefits from agriculture

 Since January 2014, the Myanmar New Zealand Dairy Excellence Project (MDEP) has established:

  • a competent national milk quality testing authority
  • governance and management structures including an 'on the ground' New Zealand chief technical/animal husbandry adviser and a national coordinator
  • high quality forage for improved milk production
  • a protocol for importing semen from New Zealand
  • 26 nucleus farms that are modelling best practice, including better recording/monitoring systems
  • two study tours to New Zealand on farm management, and skills such as training of trainers, animal husbandry and cheese making
  • analysis of market, milk quality, animal husbandry, artifical insemination and training
Improve knowledge, skills and basic education

Trained 39 young leaders through the MYLP or its predecessor, the four year Burma Young Community Leaders Programme, to 2015. Since returning to Myanmar in December 2014, five fieldwork projects have been established by the 2014 MYLP alumni, supported by the MYLP. These projects are:

  • Training the Trainers: Democracy and Leadership 
  • Capacity Building and Youth Empowerment
  • Do No Harm: Capacity Building for NGO Staff 
  • Livelihood Assistance Program for Kachin Internally Displaced Secondary School Boarders
  • Civic Education during Democratic Transition

Provided English Language Training to 120 Myanmar officials to help it in its role as ASEAN Chair in 2014.