Helping communities weather the socio-economic downturn: Building Urban Resilience


The compounded crises of the COVID 19 pandemic and the economic and political upheaval resulting from the February 2021 coup has had a devastating impact on the urban poor in Myanmar’s commercial capital, Yangon. 

The poverty rate in Yangon was projected to triple — from 13.7 percent in 2017 to 41.9 percent in 2022 – and residents in Yangon face poor legal protections, limited economic opportunities, inflated costs of living and an unhealthy environment. Women and girls are particularly vulnerable. Women represent the overwhelming majority of job losses in the hardest hit industries including garment factories, tourism and hospitality, and a lack of safe shelter and housing conditions increases the risk of sexual and gender-based violence.

To better understand the experiences, challenges and emerging needs of households in Yangon, UN Women and UNDP conducted a baseline survey comparing households in eight of the most marginalized townships with the remaining townships in Yangon. The study is informing the Urban Resilience Project (URP) – a joint project between UN Women, UNDP and UN Habitat helping communities in the eight townships identified as most vulnerable to build their resilience. 

The survey, conducted over the phone with interviews lasting approximately 20 minutes, involved 3,000 respondents. It comprised questions on household finances, employment and livelihoods, safety and security, access to basic services, including health and education. 

This baseline survey is being used, in conjunction with other gender-sensitive studies conducted by 
UN Women in Yangon in 2021, to help measure the impact of the URP. 

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Bibliographic information

Geographic coverage: Asia and the Pacific Myanmar
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Publishing entity/ies: Agencies/entities