Community development in Rakhine State

Civil unrest displaced more than 100,000 people in Myanmar’s Rakhine state in 2012, landing them in camps or isolated communities where they are cutoff from the fields, rivers, sea and markets that once provided their livelihoods.

In 2016, Relief International launched a comprehensive recovery program that aims to bring community services to 45,000 people spread across 50 villages. In keeping with the RI Way, the project cuts across sectors to improve civil society mechanisms required to build community cooperation and ensure project success. RI partners on the project with the International Rescue Committee and the Danish Refugee Council.

The two-and-a-half-year program, funded by USAID, aims to:

• strengthen community infrastructure, including water and sanitation facilities

• prepare communities to withstand natural disasters

• nurture engagement between estranged communities to solve shared problems

RI field staff and partners will organize and encourage meetings among Rakhine State government officials, township-level leaders and village spokespeople to identify and resolve common issues. These leaders will encourage women and young people to participate, mitigating the political and institutional barriers that have excluded them in the past.

Once officials and local leaders prioritize projects and goals, grants are given to villages for project execution.