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Development assistance in Myanmar

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Australia’s development assistance to Myanmar

2023-24 bilateral allocation [budget estimate]
$42.1 million
2023-24 total Australia ODA [budget estimate]
$121.0 million
2022-23 bilateral allocation [budget estimate]
$42.1 million
2022-23 total Australian ODA [budget estimate]
$120.6 million
2021-22 total Australian ODA [actual]
$90.7 million

Australia's development efforts are set out in Partnerships for Recovery: Australia's COVID-19 Development Response.

Prior to the February 2021 military coup, Myanmar had been navigating multiple complex transitions: from military rule to a democratic government, from a closed to an open market economy and from conflict to peace. The coup and its aftermath, combined with the impact of COVID-19, have reversed many of the gains made and significantly amplified Myanmar's humanitarian and development challenges.

Prior to the coup, around one-third of Myanmar was affected by protracted conflict. Over 370,000 people were displaced, and more than one million people across the country, including along the Thai-Myanmar border, were in need of humanitarian assistance. Since the coup, humanitarian needs have surged. New and increased conflict across the country has led to the internal displacement of more than 400,000 additional people. Over 14 million people now need humanitarian assistance, including in urban and peri-urban areas.

Political instability, violence and COVID-19 are exacerbating poverty and food insecurity. Essential services, particularly health and education, were already strained by the impacts of COVID-19 and are under even more pressure today. Much of the country is experiencing difficulty accessing healthcare and schooling. The combined effects of COVID-19 and the coup have severely impacted Myanmar's economy, with rising unemployment and poverty, as well as disruptions to the banking sector. Women, youth, and informal workers in urban areas are particularly vulnerable.

Australia's commitment to Myanmar's development and to supporting the people of Myanmar remains steadfast. Following the coup, Australia's assistance in Myanmar has pivoted to meet the immediate needs of the country's most vulnerable people, including the poor and ethnic minorities. We have redirected development assistance away from regime entities and do not provide funding directly to the regime. To ensure our support benefits the people who need it most, we work through trusted non-government partners including multilateral and non-government organisations. Our program will remain under close review and be flexible to respond to the evolving situation to best meet the needs of affected populations.

Australia’s COVID-19 Response

The Australian Government is deeply concerned about the impact of COVID-19 in Myanmar.
Australia's existing humanitarian and development programs continue to focus on COVID-19 prevention and mitigation including:

  • providing oxygen related equipment
  • building sanitation infrastructure and isolation wards in internally displaced persons camps
  • distributing personal protective equipment (PPE) to affected communities
  • training and community engagement in disease outbreak surveillance and response
  • capacity building in field epidemiology
  • strengthening laboratory and emergency health operations.

COVID-19 support announced in 2021 for the people of Myanmar includes:

  • $4.5 million to the United Nations Office for Project Services' Access to Health Fund for emergency supplies and treatment, prevention management, and mental health support for the people of Myanmar
  • $6 million to the United Nations Office for Project Services Livelihoods and Food Security Fund to support vulnerable households in Myanmar such as internally displaced people, conflict affected communities, people with disabilities, the elderly, pregnant women and children. This support includes improving access to water, sanitation, and hygiene as well as cash and food vouchers.

We are actively working with a range of international partners on additional efforts to further assist the COVID-19 response in Myanmar.

Our results

Some key examples of Australian development results in Myanmar include:

  • providing more than 19,975 people with emergency shelter and 79,162 crisis affected people with healthcare through key humanitarian partners in 2021
  • delivering basic education to over 29,913 children and critical food assistance to around 114,282 people in 2021
  • supporting 113,760 surgical masks to be distributed as part of a response to COVID-19 through the multi-donor fund Access to Health in 2021
  • supporting 2475 schools, 199,408 learners and 8185 teachers through the Myanmar Education Consortium over the 2021-22 academic year.
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