FEATURE22 February 2021

Moving money: Increasing Myanmar’s financial literacy

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Asia Pacific Features Finance Impact

To increase understanding of finance in Myanmar, BBC Media Action produced a radio show giving tips for migrants and rural communities. By Liam Kay.

Myanmar money_crop

The south-east Asian nation of Myanmar has a significant internal migrant population. Its 2014 Population and Housing Census estimated that there were more than nine million internal migrants – equivalent to almost 20% of the population – with people moving from the countryside to major cities for work as the economy shifts from agriculture to industry. Myanmar still has a large rural population; Unesco data shows that 65% of people live in the countryside.

To help migrants and rural communities, the BBC’s international development charity, BBC Media Action, ran a project that aimed to educate people about financial management. The project was funded by the Livelihoods and Food Security Fund, with the objective of addressing issues around migration, work and money.

The charity decided to create a radio magazine show, Yay Kyi Yar (Towards Clearer Waters), to educate migrants and rural communities about finance, having identified it as an issue among both groups.

Running throughout 2017 and 2018, the programme was broadcast weekly on the national broadcaster, Myanmar Radio, and a community ...