In 2013, the MFLF, in partnership with the Central Committee for Drug Abuse Control (CCDAC) and the Progress of Border Areas and National Races Department (NATALA) of Myanmar and the Thai Office of the Narcotics Control Board (ONCB), initiated the Thailand-Myanmar Cooperation on Sustainable Alternative Livelihood Development Tachileik and Mong Hsat Districts, Shan State, to support the livelihoods of approximately 15,500 people in 32 villages. These communities suffered from poor health, poverty, food insecurity, and limited public transport and infrastructure. Many had malaria, tuberculosis, chronic diarrhoea, and serious dental problems. They relied mainly on rain-fed agriculture. Their land was deforested and agricultural yields were low, with many not having enough to eat for the entire year. Most families were heavily indebted. Roads were rudimentary and largely impassable during the rainy season. The Project is divided in two phases during its six-year duration. The first phase is to enhance the communities’ ability to “survive,” to earn enough to meet their basic economic and social needs. The second phase is to empower people to be self-reliant in order to become proponents of their own development.

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