Nay Pyi Taw, 26 February 2019 - The Government of Japan and eight United Nations Agencies today signed a US$ 37 million value agreement to implement humanitarian and development projects in Shan, Kachin and Rakhine States. The funding will enable the delivery of life-saving assistance, protection, trust-building initiatives and early recovery support to women, men, girls and boys across the three states.  This important partnership builds on a US$ 20 million agreement that was signed in 2018, that aimed to assist half a million people in Rakhine State.

“I thank the Government and people of Japan for their continued support to respond to immediate humanitarian needs and address the long-term development prospects in Rakhine as well as Kachin and Shan States,” said UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator ad interim Knut Ostby. “The UN agencies signing today appreciate the continued confidence of our partners that enable us to add urgently needed support for humanitarian activities in Kachin and northern Shan States to the ongoing humanitarian and development initiatives in Rakhine State.”

The agreements were signed by His Excellency Mr. Ichiro Maruyama, Ambassador of Japan to Myanmar and representatives of the participating UN Agencies. UN bodies that receive contribution under the agreements include the International Organization on Migration (IOM), UN-Habitat, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), UN Women, and the World Food Programme (WFP).

The Agreement was signed in the presence of representatives of the Union Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement and Union Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In order to address cross-cutting humanitarian and development needs, approximately half of the funding will support critical life-saving activities, including food assistance, shelter, water and sanitation. The remaining funds will be invested in longer-term development initiatives to improve living standards for all communities, including restoration of livelihoods and building government capacity. Further activities under these partnerships will include, among others:

  • Supporting the Government of Myanmar in creating conditions conducive to the sustainable return of displaced persons from and within Rakhine State and addressing statelessness;
  • Supporting women leaders to be effective advocates for gender equality and women’s empowerment, and strengthening government capacities to ensure gender-responsive policies, programmes and service delivery;
  • Supporting internally displaced people affected by conflict in three states through critical humanitarian support including food, health, education, protection, shelter and camp management, and water and sanitation programming;
  • Prepare for and implement a community-driven, beneficiary-led rebuilding of settlements for returning refugees and internally displaced persons;
  • Improving service delivery, access to justice, and creating local development opportunities that promote social cohesion and community resilience; and
  • Empowering and protecting women, ensuring they can access health services and can contribute to and benefit from inclusive growth and development.

The projects signed today will be implemented over the next twelve months, with work scheduled to begin in April 2019.

“We must be ambitious because the needs of the people in these three States are great,” added Knut Ostby. “UN agencies have integrated their activities in line with the humanitarian-development-peace-human rights nexus to achieve better results.”

Annex: Sample results achieved over the past 12 months in Rakhine State under the agreement signed between the UN and Japan in February 2018

Over 200,000 people received food assistance;

School feeding program reached 72,000 primary school students;

More than 30,000 internally displaced people benefitted from camp coordination and camp management

Over 1,800 people were supported with reconstruction or repair of shelters;

150,000 people obtained hygiene supplies;

20,000 children received support in child friendly spaces;

Mobile clinic treated 15,000 patients;

3,000 of the most vulnerable women and girls received dignity kits containing female hygiene items;

Over 11,000 women received sexual and reproductive health services supporting safe birth, and pregnancy by choice, not chance;

Cash for work for the rehabilitation of social infrastructures is being provided in four townships, covering a total of 28 village tracts, 88 villages and 15,000 households;

Over 90 law officers and judiciaries participated in knowledge sharing forums on due process, fair trials, human rights and gender-based violence in August and October 2018.