Burma

Burma OTI
An 8-year-old novice Buddhist monk, Shway, poses inside the monastery adjacent to the Chaukhtatgyi pagoda.
VOISHMEL / AFP
 

Working to deepen and sustain the reform process and foster legitimate, inclusive peacebuilding processes through support to the government, civil society and other key stakeholders.


WHY USAID/OTI IS IN BURMA

On April 1, 2016, the National League of Democracy (NLD) formed the first democratically elected Government of Burma in decades. Yet Burma continues to face complex and multidimensional challenges, including navigating a complicated and fractured peace process and addressing large-scale intercommunal conflict resulting in mass displacement and serious concerns for human rights. USAID/OTI provides a fast and targeted tool to support the peace process and address intercommunal conflict, both essential for long-term stability, further democratization and advancing U.S. strategic interests in the region.

USAID/OTI’S ROLE IN BURMA

USAID/OTI entered in Burma in 2012 during a window of opportunity created by initial reforms under the military-led government. USAID/OTI works to deepen and sustain reform and foster legitimate, inclusive peacebuilding by focusing on:

  • Enhancing the ability of key stakeholders to engage in the peace process;  
  • Strengthening engagement on areas that affect fundamental freedoms, including freedom of religion, speech and expression; and  
  • Reducing the influence of the drivers of intercommunal conflict and strengthening capacity to promote intercommunal harmony.

PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS

  • USAID/OTI brings together political parties, civil society and ethnic armed groups to engage in the peace process. These efforts, which contributed to the signing of a Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement in October 2015 by eight ethnic armed groups, helps maintain momentum toward a sustainable peace between all groups after decades of armed conflict.  
  • USAID/OTI works with community leaders, civil society and local government in Rakhine State to build their capacity to prevent violent conflict and counter hate speech and rumor. After insurgent attacks in Northern Rakhine on Aug. 25, 2017, village track administrators in Marak U, who were taking part in USAID/OTI-sponsored training on conflict prevention, took steps to counter rumors of additional attacks and worked to prevent violence from spreading in Central Rakhine   
  • USAID/OTI aims to reduce the risk that intercommunal violence will spread to other areas in Central Burma. The Bago Peace Network has actively combated misinformation on the Rakhine conflict, and successfully intervened when a person with mental illness was accused, through rumor, of being a Muslim terrorist. Both efforts are complemented by USAID/OTI partners who work on Facebook to develop online platforms that counter inaccurate and false news reports by fact-checking local reporting and online rumors.
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Last updated: August 02, 2018

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