Nay Pyi Taw, November 09, 2016—UN-Habitat has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Department of Rural Development (DRD) under the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation of the Government of Myanmar. It is envisioned that by the end of the new MoU in 2018, over 1.8 million people in 1,314 villages (25 townships) would have benefited from WASH, community infrastructure, electricity and housing projects.

For the last five years UN-Habitat and DRD have coordinated to provide support to most impoverished rural communities across the country. In his opening remarks, U Khant Zaw, DRD Director General highlighted the continued coordination and arduous work throughout the past years to provide good services to the people, which he said had helped to improve their living conditions.

The Director General also cited the hundred percentage coverage with meterage of household water supply in 180 villages, which he said had proved sustainable. The new MoU has a budget of USD 9.5 million and through it both partners will continue collaborating to support most vulnerable communities to improve their living conditions.

The main focus would be on supporting communities to access safer basic services and improved community infrastructure, U Khant Zaw said. Bijay Karmacharya, Country Programme Manager of UN-Habitat also underscored the mutual collaboration to support rural communities through the People’s Process - community-driven development, CDD – and the importance of the approach which puts people at the centre of decision-making and implementation.

He stressed the tremendous responsibility of DRD to fulfil the needs and aspirations of the people through CDD that goes directly to the people, and contributes to enhance their living conditions. Mr. Karmacharya thanked DRD not only for the trust and confidence, but also for the flexibility and freedom that allow UN-Habitat to reach the poorest of the poor.