ASIA/MYANMAR - Hunger, malnutrition and debts for the population of the "dry zone"

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Bagan (Agenzia Fides) - The people who live in the so called "dry zone" of Myanmar, which covers 13% of the Country, home to a quarter of the 58 million inhabitants, are experiencing shortage of food and are dying from hunger and malnutrition. In the central regions of Mandalay, Magway and Lower Sagaing, known as "dry areas", the lowest levels of rainfall are recorded; 60% of households are farmers and 40% without land. A study carried out in 2014 by World Food Programme (WFP), Save the Children and Ministry of Livestock, Fisheries and Rural Development, highlights that 18.5% of the families living in these areas have suffered from food insecurity. A third, especially in the months of June and July, had difficulty in finding food for their daily requirements. 12.3 % of children under 5 years of age were severely malnourished; people fall into debts in order to buy food. WFP has been working in these arid areas of Myanmar for over a decade in support of the most vulnerable populations and pregnant women, and helping to implement school feeding programs for more than 50,000 children. (AP) (Agenzia Fides 13/05/2014)