Maung Maung Than, 38, is a farmer from the village of Kyauk Tan Chay, a few miles north of the town of Sittwe, capital of Myanmar’s troubled Rakhine state.

As part of a Red Cross programme providing cash grants to support people’s livelihoods in communities impacted by flooding, cyclical violence and population movement, Maung Maung was selected to sit on the village’s grant management committee, helping identify those most in need of support.

“When I heard about the support coming from the Red Cross I was happy, we all were, but there were some challenges. Everyone in the village is poor but not everyone could have a grant. It’s very hard to choose just some people to receive the money.”

“I didn’t receive a grant, but as a member of the committee involved in selecting who would receive the grants, I had some trouble because not everyone was happy with the decisions. But I’ve seen for myself that this has been a good project. The grants have definitely helped most of the people who received them, and they were some of the poorest in the village.”

“The people who took grants to support weaving have done been particularly successful in increasing profits from their investment, but almost everyone who received a grant has done well from it. The biggest thing for most people is that the grants have enabled them to pay off debts and carry their businesses forward debt free.”