Myanmar: WFP Assistance In Northern Shan State
Shan farmers typically use slash-and-burn techniques to prepare their land for planting. Slash-and-burn farming depletes the soil of its nutrients, and accelerates soil erosion and desertification. WFP's Food for Assets projects encourage farmers to move toward more sustainable forms of agriculture, by supporting communities to implement soil conservation and land development activities that also help to reduce the risk of floods and landslides.
Nang Bang participated in WFP's Food for Assets project in Lwe Kan village, Kutkai Township, to develop land terraces. "The soil is more fertile where we grew soybeans [last year]," she observed. "Slash and burn doesn't maintain soil fertility." This year, she plans to grow rice and maize along with soyabeans and sesame.
Sein Nyind (front) and Nei Pone both make a living through papermaking in Kone Sone village in Tangyan Township. The water tank built through WFP's Food for Assets activities has cut down the time needed to fetch water from over an hour before, to just a few minutes now that the water source is pumped directly to their village. Sein Nyind and Nei Pone have been able to triple their paper production as a result.
At the Palaung camp in Galang, Kutkai Township, over 450 people fled fighting between armed groups and Government forces. Although the fighting still continues sporadically, the villagers intend to go back to their home to cultivate their land for the harvest, as they have few sources of income in the camp.
Yan Nan, 22, lives with her grandmother, her seven-month-old son, and an aunt at this shelter in Kutkai. From Nam Ma village, she fled with her family after fighting began between the Government forces and armed groups. "I didn't feel safe. We were afraid that the military would enter our village," she said. Her son is too young, and she is unable to work. Nearly 400 people live at the Baptist church in Kutkai village.
The Government of Japan is the most important donor for WFP's operation in Myanmar. At the Kutkai camp, WFP is distributing food donated by Japan's recent US $21 million contribution to people displaced by conflict.
WFP is providing food to the displaced persons in Kutkai and throughout Myanmar through generous contributions from Governments like Australia.
Over 200 people live at Kyi Shan Zhai village in Kong Chang Township. WFP provides food to pregnant and nursing women as well as children under two as part of its nutrition activities here.
In mountainous Shan state, WFP is helping farmers move toward sustainable agriculture and providing nutritional support to mothers and children. Families continue to be displaced by conflict between Government forces and armed groups, and WFP is providing crucial short-term assistance to the displaced.