A crucial step for Myanmar: Launch of social protection strategy

A mother and child in Myanmar. Mothers, children and the elderly are the initial priorities of a landmark program for universal social safety nets in the country. Photo by: Fabio / CC BY-NC-SA

Myanmar kicked off the new year by adopting a new strategy that attempts to provide a social safety net to all its citizens for the first time.

Created in consultation with various development partners, the Social Protection Strategic Plan aims to gradually phase in eight flagship social protection programs over the next 10 years: provide cash allowances to pregnant women and children up to age 2, gradually extend those allowances to older children, provide cash allowances to people with disabilities, administer school nutrition programs, implement public employment and vocational education programs, introduce social pensions, establish self-help groups for the elderly, and provide integrated social protection services.

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About the authors

  • Rasmus photo

    Rasmus Jensen Schjoedt

    Rasmus Jensen Schjoedt is a freelance journalist and consultant working on governance and social protection in Asia. He holds a master's degree in political science and has more than seven years of experience working in international development in Africa and Asia, mainly in the area of civil society support and local governance. He has lived and worked in Myanmar since May 2013 and is currently working on a book about social protection in Asia.
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    Simon Lewis

    Simon Lewis is a freelance journalist covering Southeast Asia. Following a stint as business editor of The Cambodia Daily newspaper in Phnom Penh, he has been based since 2013 in Yangon, where he also worked as an editor and reporter for The Irrawaddy news magazine. He has reported on development, business, human rights and religion in the region.