Geography and people

Myanmar is the largest country in mainland south-east Asia. The Bay of Bengal lies to the southwest, surrounded by nearly 1,200 miles of Myanmar’s coast.

The climate is cooler in the mountainous north and east areas, tropical in the south and west and hot and humid along the coast and delta.

Natural resources include petroleum, timber, tin, zinc, copper, tungsten, lead, coal, marble, limestone, precious stones, natural gas and hydropower.

Over 130 ethnic groups live in Myanmar. The Burman are the largest ethnic group, making up two-thirds of the population. The official language is Burmese, but many ethnic groups speak their own dialects. English is a second language, often used in government settings and in schools.

Map of Myanmar


Life expectancy

Life expectancy

Literacy rate

Literacy rate

Access to safe water

Access to safe water

Average annual income

Average annual income

Fast facts


Myanmar is one of the poorest nations in the world. Decades of military rule have devastated the country's infrastructure. Unemployment and economic stagnation have become the norm. The most recent figures from 2007 show that more than 32 percent of people live below the poverty line.


Droughts, floods, pest infestations and limited agricultural supplies have contributed to most of the country's desperate need for food.


The HIV and AIDS epidemic is growing in Myanmar. The country has one of the highest infection rates in south-east Asia, with more than 240,000 people living with HIV and AIDS.

Our focus in Myanmar

World Vision is committed to partnering with the people of Myanmar to improve their lives today and to help deliver sustainable solutions for the future of their children, families, and communities. Our child sponsorship programme plays a vital role in this partnership, with donors from the United Kingdom sponsoring 4,184 girls and boys (as of April 2014) across three community projects. In addition to sponsorship, World Vision operates other programmes that benefit communities in Myanmar.
Highlights of our work include:

Providing school supplies, fees, uniforms and other clothing and supplies for vulnerable children.

Supporting communities affected by natural disasters such as the earthquake of 2012 and seasonal flooding.

Raising awareness about human trafficking and reducing the number of exploited children.

Our Achievements in Myanmar

World Vision’s work in Myanmar started in the 1980s. Since then, some major accomplishments include:

Child development

Meeting the needs of children through sponsorship since the mid 1980s.

Eco Development

Economic development

Helping families affected by floods regain livelihoods with resources such as carts, rickshaws and sewing machines in the 1980s.

Health and well-being

Providing healthcare, education and skills training to hearing impaired children and adults in the 1990s.

Community development

Improving the lives of children living on the street, assisting with Cyclone Nargis relief efforts and increasing microenterprise development since 2000.


Pray for our work in Myanmar »