International Rescue Committee (IRC)

The IRC in Myanmar

Thet Thet Phyo, an IRC nutrition officer, hands out seeds and teaches villagers
Photo: Peter Biro/IRC

In 2008, the International Rescue Committee launched aid programs in Myanmar (also known as Burma) following the devastation wrought by Cyclone Nargis. Today, the IRC provides health, water and sanitation, livelihoods and social development programs in some of the most remote areas of the country including Rakhine, Chin and Kayah states.

The Latest

How We Help

  • The IRC trains midwives and community health workers and supports mobile clinics to improve access to healthcare for women and children in remote areas.
  • The IRC works with local communities to increase access to clean drinking water, improve sanitation facilities and prevent the outbreak of diseases by constructing water collection systems and building latrines and wash stands.
  • The IRC promotes economic recovery, teaching modern agricultural technology and techniques to farmers.
  • The IRC empowers communities to identify their own development needs and design and manage their own recovery projects, such as schools and health centers.
  • The IRC also aids nearly 140,000 refugees from Myanmar in nine camps along the Myanmar-Thailand border.
May 21, 2015 | Press Release
The IRC welcomes this week’s decision by the governments of Malaysia and Indonesia to provide humanitarian assistance to Bangladeshi and Burmese refugees and migrants who have sought shelter on their shores.

Myanmar At a Glance


Location: Southeast Asia
Neighbors: Bangladesh, China, India, Laos, Thailand
Size: 676,578 sq km
Population: 55,167,330
Major ethnic groups: Burman, Chin, Kachin, Karenni, Karen, Mon, Rakhine, Shan
Chief of state: President Thien Sein

Natural Disasters in Myanmar

When Cyclone Nargis struck Myanmar in May 2008, the IRC immediately responded with recovery efforts in the hard-hit Irrawaddy Delta region to help people whose lives had been devastated by the natural disaster. Since then, the IRC has responded to emergencies caused by floods and by 2010’s Cyclone Giri, and has expanded our programs to include health and social development in the country's poorest communities.