Myanmar: Kitchen Hub in Shan State serves IDPs and local producers
Myanmar is falling back into the darkest days of the old military rule, when the country existed largely isolated from the world. In 2011, a gentle democratization process had been initiated. But since the military coup 1st February 2021 almost everything is back to the way it was, or worse. More than 2.100 people have been killed since the takeover, and many hundreds of thousands of refugees are within the country as well as in neighboring countries. The elected head of government, Aung San Suu Kyi is back in prison. Meanwhile, many people have fled to the independent areas of the country controlled by "Ethnic Armed Organizations". From there, violent resistance to the junta is being organized. Amnesty International published a report on the military's use of landmines in civilian areas. Myanmar has been subject to sanctions by many Western countries since the coup, and when four democracy activists were executed in August 2022, the international community again issued a series of condemnations. Many investors have pulled out of Myanmar and some of the resistance abroad has focused on publishing corporate ties to Myanmar firms that are close to support for the junta. The World Bank expects Myanmar's economy to grow by one percent this year after contracting 18 % last year and warned that a return to pre-pandemic levels was unlikely soon.
Since January 2014 PEM Consult was implementing on behalf of the German bilateral development assistance (GIZ and KfW) five projects in the country (see projects). We were obliged to stop all our activities after the military coup and the termination of bilateral cooperation. However, we tried to keep our excellent relations with our Myanmar partners, colleagues and friends, of which some have left the country.
These days we received the news, that the “Kitchen Hub” established in 2020 in Taunggyi / Shan State is still operated by Impact Hub Yangon and serving the local population in their efforts to survive the hardships. Impact Hub Yangon managed to conduct some programs with international partner organisations and is currently utilizing Kitchen Hub for development of product recipes such as ginger tea, ginger paste, jam, and juices which are transferred to IDPs, producers and processors through a series of training sessions.
We received with great pleasure the information, that the Kitchen Hub is operational and would like to thank Impact Hub for all its efforts.
The hub is a makerspace in the food processing sector to develop and test new products in a food laboratory. The small batch processing unit allows to produce small batches of marketable products with all the required certification.