Improving food security and nutrition with cash assistance, cash for work and inputs distribution in Myanmar

Rakhine State in Myanmar has been experiencing armed conflict, localized violence, political instability and extremely high levels of forced displacement for years. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the local population faced further and compounding disruptions to livelihoods, and local government institutions and administrations experienced operational challenges. In this complex situation, at the height of the pandemic, FAO assisted over 7 500 vulnerable households by delivering cash assistance complemented by distribution of agricultural inputs, information materials, hygiene kits, agricultural training and aquaculture production support. To do so, the intervention established links with the social protection programme “Maternal cash assistance for pregnant and lactating women,” which informed the cash assistance modality and the value amount of transfers. The intervention was part of the broader EU-funded initiative of the Global Network Against Food Crises Partnership Programme, which aimed to increase the resilience of households to socioeconomic shocks and disasters, by focusing on reducing vulnerability to conflict and malnutrition, and bolstering agricultural productivity. A country-level monitoring, evaluation, accountability and learning (MEAL) plan was developed to track changes in resilience and food security indicators resulting from country investments. This social protection and resilience good practice factsheet aims at presenting answers to the learning questions identified, regarding the actual contribution of the project interventions to resilience and the added value of implementing these in alignment to the national social protection system.