Myanmar region faces daunting challenges

Poverty and lack of access to education are contributing to the religious unrest plaguing Rakhine state.

After much debate, Myanmar’s parliament has passed a new foreign investment law which, it is hoped, will ultimately lead to greater opportunities for people around the country.

However, recent events here in Rakhine state provide a reminder of how far the country has to go.

Despite vast natural resources, this is one of the poorest parts of the country. Under military rule, infrastructure fell into disrepair, including Rakhine’s finest educational institution.

Fighting and the continuing tension between majority Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims are having a negative impact on many sectors, including education.

Since the violence started in June, Muslims can no longer go to university.

Despite the positive changes in Myanmar under a partly civilian government, young people in Rakhine are not confident of finding a good job when they graduate.

The conflict is also hurting an economy that floundered under the previous army regime and the resulting international economic sanctions.

Al Jazeera’s Wayne Hay reports from Sittwe, Myanmar.

Source: Al Jazeera