Denmark provides over US$ 8 million to improve livelihoods and health in Myanmar
YANGON, 14 Aug- Denmark signed two agreements with UNOPS of more than $ 8 million dollars today to boost livelihoods of the poor and to improve the health of mothers and young children in Myanmar.
HE Mikael Hemniti Winther, Denmark’s Ambassador to Thailand, Myanmar and Cambodia and Sanjay Mathur, Director & Representative of UNOPS in Myanmar, signed the agreements. More than $ 4.1 million will be channeled through the multi-donor Livelihoods and Food Security Trust (LIFT) fund managed by UNOPS for livelihood projects. LIFT was set up to work towards the eradication of extreme poverty and hunger in Myanmar, one of the Millennium Development Goals. Denmark along with Governments of Australia, the EC, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK are working together through LIFT to increase food availability, income generation opportunities and food use for up to 2 million people.
Denmark’s support to LIFT has ensured that between 2010-11 more than 1.1 million people directly benefitted. An independent evaluation of LIFT’s funded projects in the Delta highlights that an overwhelming majority of beneficiaries were of the opinion that incomes had increased substantially after the Nargis collapse.
During the time LIFT was in operation, incomes were perceived to have increased by a further third, bringing rice farmers to a level above that of ‘self-sufficiency’ and casual labourers close to pre-Nargis levels.
In LIFT’s programme country wide including the Delta, in the agricultural sector alone, more than 53,000 households were supported. Almost 6,800 small and micro businesses were established and more than 8,700 households were provided credit for both agricultural and income generating activities.
“Denmark contribution will enable farmers to cultivate larger areas and yield better harvests, resulting in increased income for many households and villages across the country.” said HE Mikael Hemniti Winther.
Another $4.1million contribution to 3MDG Fund will be part of the basis for a programme to offer health services to populations in Myanmar with the greatest need. It will focus on improving the health of mothers and young children, one of the country’s most pressing priorities. Furthermore, it will include components to supplement the Global Fund programme on HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis, in areas, which it is currently unable to support, as well as to assist the government in strengthening the health systems and capacity to deliver quality basic health to the people of Myanmar. HE Mikael Hemniti Winther concluded “Denmark’s contribution will provide a substantial contribution to assist long-term development for livelihoods and health in the poorest areas of Myanmar.” -NLM