UN Agencies Welcome Japan’s Generous Contributions To Development And Humanitarian Activities In Myanmar
NAY PYI TAW, Myanmar – United Nations agencies today welcomed the generous contributions made by the Government of Japan to their operations in Myanmar. The four agencies – the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) – received a total of JPY 3.76 billion (approximately USD 31.7 million) in contributions. This timely injection of funding will enable the agencies to continue and advance their development and humanitarian activities in Myanmar.
The donation was formally handed over to the UN agencies on 27 April by H.E. Tateshi Higuchi, Japan’s Ambassador to Myanmar, at a ceremony at the Ministry of Border Affairs in Nay Pyi Taw. Lt.-Gen. Ye Aung, Union Minister of Border Affairs, represented and delivered a speech on behalf of the Myanmar Government.
Japan's contribution of JPY 531 million (USD 4.5 million) to FAO will be used to improve agricultural livelihoods and build resilience of communities affected by conflict and floods in Rakhine and Chin states. The recent Crop and Food Security Assessment report for Myanmar highlighted that poor, remote communities in Rakhine and Chin are particularly vulnerable in terms of resilience to withstand disasters. In addition to providing direct agricultural inputs to affected communities, the Japanese funding will go towards critical asset rehabilitation, upgrades or replacement, for example grain storage and irrigation systems. “This project will incorporate disaster risk reduction activities to ensure communities are better able to cope with future disasters,” said Bui Thi Lan, FAO Representative in Myanmar.
UN-Habitat received a contribution of JPY 607 million (USD 5.1 million) which will assist the vulnerable ethnic communities project for Chin State on constructing community infrastructure, increasing access to safe drinking water and reconstructing housing badly affected by the 2015 floods. It will contribute to empowering communities to ensure they will jointly work to build or renovate quality basic services and housing to give targeted population basis for healthy and productive life. The project is framed within the overall objective of helping Myanmar’s ethnic poor and vulnerable communities to address the emergency needs to restore their normal life and to sustainably improve quality of life. Bijay Karmacharya, Country Programme Manager of UN-Habitat said that the project will reach most needy and vulnerable communities who are in dire need of recovery of their housing and basic service infrastructures. It will be implemented in 200 villages across Hakha, Tedim, Falam and Thatlang townships, aiming to benefit over 90,000 people.
UNHCR is grateful for Japan’s contribution of JPY 365 million (USD 3.1 million), which will support the agency’s efforts to assist the Myanmar Government in addressing the needs of internally displaced people (IDPs) in Rakhine and persons without citizenship across the country. UNHCR leads efforts relating to protection, shelter, camp coordination and camp management, and emergency relief items as part of the inter-agency response to displacement in Rakhine, Kachin and northern Shan states. “We are deeply appreciative of Japan’s long-standing commitment to supporting refugees and all those who have been forced to flee their homes,” said Giuseppe de Vincentiis, UNHCR Representative in Myanmar. “This latest contribution to UNHCR in Myanmar will help us to provide for the vital and basic needs of IDPs while we continue our work with the Myanmar Government to find long-term solutions to their plight.”
Japan’s generous JPY 2.26 billion (USD 19 million) contribution to WFP will assist internally displaced people, communities affected by floods and landslides, pregnant and nursing mothers, young malnourished children, people living with HIV and TB patients, as well as preschool and primary school children in Rakhine and Chin states, by (re-)creating community infrastructures, distributing relief assistance, providing nutrition support, and daily school meals. The contribution will be predominantly used to provide locally purchased rice, pulses and salt and internationally purchased vegetable oil, blended food and high energy biscuits to 300,000 people. WFP will also employ cash based transfers, allowing internally displaced people and affected population to choose their preferred food. “With Japan’s timely contribution and in partnership with the Government of Myanmar, WFP will enable recovery of the most affected communities across 20 townships in Chin and Rakhine States and for this, we are most thankful.” said Dom Scalpelli, Country Director and Resident Representative, WFP Myanmar.
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