Southeast Asia

Cambodia Overview

16, 250,000 *

*According to the World Bank 2018 report


% of rural population


% of malnourished children
Over 80% of Cambodia’s population live in rural areas and more than a third live in extreme poverty. Poorly functioning markets and lack of infrastructure contribute to economic failures of smallholder farmers and agricultural entrepreneurs.

Since 2012, IIRR’s work in Cambodia has been a cornerstone in addressing key national issues on food security, malnutrition, and poverty.

IIRR continues to team up with the District Offices of Agriculture, Education, Youth, and Sport, Commune Councils, Cambodian Centre for Study and Development in Agriculture (CEDAC) with financial support from development organizations such as the Biodiversity Conservation Corridors Project (BCCP), GIZ, the European Union (EU) through the Fisheries Administration (FiA) of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF), CIAT to address agricultural challenges through climate-smart agriculture, promotes nutrition sensitive and adaptive options for smallholder farmers and strengthen the awareness of local fishers on resilient and sustainable fishing practices.

The programs contribute to building the local communities’ self-reliance by strengthening their ability to plan, finance, and implement their own development solutions.

Our areas of intervention in Cambodia

  • Sustainable fishing and ocean ecosystem restoration

  • Education and nutrition

  • Food Security and Resilient Livelihoods

What we do

  • Conducting training courses and research seminars for national NGOs.
  • Setting up institutional plans for financial education, microbusiness management, and community organizing.
  • Implemented climate-oriented trainings for fishery managers.
  • Promoted healthy eating and planting to primary schoolchildren and their families.
  • Improving the capacity of smallholder farmers by managing their rice, vegetable, and cassava crop.


Nearly 10,000 farmers, fisherfolks, students, and teachers benefited from various IIRR interventions. These include:

  • 100 aquaculture model farms were established and used as a learning sites
  • 42 village development funds and saving groups have been formed and saved USD 576,033
  • 5,000 farmers in nearly 200 villages were trained and apply their knowledge in climateresilient techniques and crop diversification and waste management
  • Over 2,300 children learned about health, climate-smart agriculture and BIG programs, and have planted vegetables in homestead areas. The knowledge and skill is transferred to 80 parents and 74 teachers

Ongoing projects:

  • G0426-CAM: GMS Biodiversity Conservation Corridors, funded by Asian Development Bank (ADB);
  • Applying seasonal climate forecasting and innovative insurance solutions to climate risk management in the agriculture sector in Southeast Asia (De-Risk): Funded by CIAT;
  • Multi-Sectoral Food Security Cambodia (MUSEFO): Funded by GIZ;
  • Scaling-Up Climate Resilient Agriculture (SUCRA): Funded by ASPIRE Program of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) through the Royal University of Agriculture (RUA);
  • Capacity building for small holder farmers on cassava production, funded by GIZ_ Regional Economic Development III;
  • Promoting health and nutrition in Schools in Kandal Province.

Myanmar Overview

61, 120,000 *

*According to the World Bank 2017 report


% of rural population


% of malnourished children
Myanmar is the second largest country in Southeast Asia, with a population of 53,897,154 (2015). The nation borders Bangladesh, Thailand, China, India and Laos. It has rich natural resources – arable land, forestry, minerals, natural gas, freshwater and marine resources and leading source of gems and jade. As much as 25% of Myanmar’s households live below the official poverty line and about 10% live even below the food poverty line.

Myanmar is at risk from a wide range of natural hazards, including cyclones, floods, and droughts that severely affected the livelihoods of the poor and contributed to food insecurity. Poor women suffer more from hunger, food insecurity and the lack of adequate health services. Climate risks and associated livelihood impacts are an additional burden to local communities. The manifestations of climate change differ across different agro-ecosystems. Climate change impacts and local responses usually differ, from location to location, so it is crucial that adaptation measures recognize the value of targeted, location specific, community-based strategies and processes.

While the country is showing signs of economic growth and engagement within the region, a significant percentage of the population is still poor. Without investments in social and community development, poverty will likely increase as farmers and rural poor are left behind. Myanmar also faces enormous challenges in ensuring food security for its people given its vulnerability to climate change, particularly in Myanmar Dry Zone, the Delta and the various mountainous regions of the country.

In 2013, IIRR promoted climate-smart agriculture and community-based adaptation for resilient livelihood of local villages. To date, Myanmar program now supports four climate-smart villages representing different agro-ecologies in the country.

IIRR Myanmar partners with various organizations including Consultative Group for International Agriculture Research-Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CGIAR-CCAFS), International Development Research Center (IDRC-Canada)
Community Development Association, Radanar Ayar Association for Rural Development, Karuna Mission and Social Services (KMSS)- Hakha, Kalyanna Mitta Foundation, Give2Asia. The program also works closely with the Department of Agriculture Research, Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation Yezin Agricultural University, Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) and Karuna Mission Social Solidarity (KMSS)-Hakha.

Areas of intervention in the Myanmar

  • Food Security and Resilient Livelihoods
  • Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation
  • Global Learning and Partnership Building

What we do

  • Promote participatory and people-driven approaches to rural development to ensure that rapid development will not leave behind rural communities.
  • Introduce filed programs that incubate and test scalable models to address rural development issues particularly in climate smart agriculture, nutrition, women and livelihoods. 
  • Engage in capacity-building programs for local NGOs and government agencies to assist in scaling-up their existent rural development programs.
  • Facilitate learning events such as workshops, conferences and writeshops to stimulate collaboration and partnerships among development stakeholders.


The initial results from this early work in Myanmar already yielded excitement from village partners.

  • 650 farmers tested new technologies and approaches for climate-smart and nutrition sensitive agriculture production
  • 380 individuals from the government, NGO, private sector, and the academe collaborated to provide technical assistance, and supply seeds and planting materials to implement climate-resilient agriculture technologies and practices
  • 200 individuals (farmers, government and non-government staff) from other villages learned about climate-smart agriculture and the climate-smart village, attended the farmer field days, learning visits to IIRR-Philippines and short term seminars
  • 3,400 fruit tree seedlings distributed and planted in the 4 climate-smart villages to provide lasting livelihood options for farmers affected by changes in climate and weather patterns

Ongoing projects

Climate Smart Villages as Platforms to Address Food Insecurity in Myanmar

  • This 3-year research project aims to develop and demonstrate participatory approaches to adaptation to climate change in 4 agro-ecologies in Myanmar including the mountain-hilly areas, central dry zone, uplands and the river delta.

DE-RISK South East Asia: Applying seasonal climate forecasting and innovative insurance solutions to climate risk management in the agriculture sector in SE Asia

  • The DE-RISK project will develop climate risk management systems, best practices and insurance products that will shield smallholder farmers and businesses engaged targeted agricultural value chains in key SE Asia countries from physical and financial disaster associated with climate change. This project is implemented in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar. IIRR-Myanmar is involved in this project as an implementing partner of CIAT to conduct data collection, organizing capacity building events and coordination with key government and private sector stakeholders in the country.

Philippines Overview

106, 650,000 *

*According to the USAID 2012 report

22 million

# of rural population

7 million

# of malnourished children
The Philippines is a Pacific island nation and is one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world. Each year the country is hit by over 20 tropical cyclones, several of which typically have catastrophic effects on local communities and economy. Majority of rural marginalized communities rely on fishing and agriculture. Natural calamities and economic shocks within the past few years have deeply affected the agricultural sector, and pushed farmers deeper into poverty. These climatic episodes bring millions of dollars of damage to the economy. Food insecurity is also a serious issue among school-aged children — 7 million children in Philippines experienced hunger and malnutrition in 2017. Data also shows that 24.8% of pregnant mothers are nutritionally-at-risk (Business Mirror, 2017).

Since 2011, IIRR country program has been working with the Philippine government at different levels (local, regional and national) and with other development actors to advance and uplift the lives of the rural marginalized communities by working with local communities in search for alternative ways for livelihood.

Areas of intervention in the Philippines

  • Sustainable intensification of agriculture-based livelihood
  • Health and nutrition for women and children
  • Building resilient livelihood, food systems, and value chains
  • Strengthening pro-poor value chains and developing small and microenterprises that benefit women and the youth

What we do

  • Provide access to new technologies, information, for smallholder farmers to improve production systems and practices
  • Strengthen market linkages and provide financial training to boost income of marginalized communities in rural areas
  • Train and form Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) to increase disaster preparedness capacities of farming and fishing communities through developing village level-contingency plans and early warning systems
  • Tackle the issue of malnutrition and provide training for teachers, school administrators and local communities to adopt and develop sustainable gardening techniques using Bio-Intensive Garden principles and practices


  • IIRR Integrated School Nutrition Model is mainstreamed nationwide as spearheaded by the Department of Education. A total of 215 schools nationwide with a combined population of 237,120 are trained.
  • 1,839,445 students from 2,732 public elementary schools received nutrition, environment, and DRR information.
  • 109 additional lighthouse schools nationwide have been trained to implementing the integrated school nutrition model
  • 60 model family farming households have been diversified and intensified with fruit trees, root and tuber crops, cereals, indigenous and market vegetables, cash crops, and intensive feed gardens promoting food security and diet diversity, providing additional family income and enhancing biodiversity.
  • the community-based adaptation model has reached 3,288 local farmers (52% are female and 48% are male) from all 54 villages of Guinayangan, Quezon province.

Ongoing projects

  • Strengthening Capacities in Nutrition-sensitive Programming
  • Integrated Nutrition
  • Nationwide Scaling of Integrated School Nutrition Program
  • Developing Climate-smart Agriculture Pathways for Scaling
  • Achieving Food Security through Small Family Farms
  • Strengthening Local Governance towards Building an evidence-base in Managing Critical Resources in the Municipality of Guinayangan