Myanmar

LIFT announces new funding to support Myanmar’s COVID-19 response

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Livelihoods and Food Security Fund LIFT has announced funding of USD15.8 million to support Myanmar’s COVID-19 preparedness and response. The funding is estimated to benefit 5.9 million people in Myanmar at a time when the country is making urgent preparations to respond to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

LIFT’s assistance will be delivered through a front-line response by its implementing partners and it focuses on supporting the most vulnerable: migrants, the elderly, internally displaced people, pregnant women and those with children under the age of two. LIFT’s donors are the United Kingdom, the European Union, Switzerland, Australia, the United States of America, Canada and Ireland.

LIFT Fund Director Katy Webley said: “The COVID-19 pandemic is a challenge to Myanmar and its people, today and for the foreseeable future. In preparedness and response, we must seek to support the most vulnerable members of society and do so in a way that lifts the nation. With the funding from our donors, LIFT is proud to be able to offer assistance, working with civil society, government, ethnic service providers and all our implementing partners, to support preparedness, response and resilience at this crucial time in Myanmar.”

The LIFT Fund Board approved the additional funding package for LIFT’s immediate COVID-19 response at its teleconference meeting, to be delivered via these programmes:

  1. Migrants

    1. Social protection

    2. Civil society response

    3. Rakhine

    4. Communications

1. Migrants: Preventing spread of virus, economic and legal support - USD2.9million

Immediate support to internal migrants in peri-urban areas Budget: USD1.7m Number of beneficiaries: 310,000 Implementing partners: CARE/Business Kind Myanmar, Women’s Organizations Network of Myanmar, People in Need, Action Aid, Save the Children.

Immediate support to returning international migrants Budget: USD1.2m Number of beneficiaries: 110,000 Implementing partners: International Organisation for Migration, International Labour Organization, The Border Consortium

The programme will:

Prevent the spread of COVID-19 among vulnerable migrant populations, their families and their communities.
Mitigate the social and economic impacts of COVID-19 on women and men migrants and their family members experiencing a loss of livelihood.
Protect the rights and dignity of women and men migrant workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

2. Social protection: Tripling payments to mothers and pensioners - USD9 million

Support to mothers Budget: USD4.93m Number of beneficiaries: 1,089,000 in total (direct recipients: 242,000; indirect: 847,000)

Implementing partners: Department of Social Welfare in collaboration with Civil Health and Development Network (in Kayah) and Karen Department of Health and Welfare (in Kayin).

The programme will provide an additional one-time payment of MMK30,000 to pregnant women and mothers of children under the age of two years (in addition to the existing monthly payment of MMK15,000) in Chin, Kayah, Kayin Rakhine State, Naga Self-Administered Area.

Support to the elderly Budget: USD4.07m Number of beneficiaries: 800,000 in total (direct recipients: 200,000; indirect: 600,000)

Implementing partners: Department of Social Welfare and with technical assistance from Help Age International

The programme will provide an additional one-time payment of MMK30,000 to the elderly, those 85 years and over (in addition to the existing monthly payment of MMK15,000).

These MMK30,000 cash payments will be made in a single cash transfer to the elderly and the women. The beneficiaries are the existing recipients of the maternal and child cash transfer (MCCT) programme and the social pension programme. In connection with the cash payments, beneficiaries will be informed how they can prepare and slow down the spread of the virus in their families and communities.

The programme will:

Prevent the spread of COVID-19 among vulnerable populations (pregnant women and mothers and their children under two), their families and their communities residing in the most vulnerable and conflict affected states of Myanmar (Rakhine, Chin, Kayah, Kayin and Naga);
Prevent the spread of COVID-19 among vulnerable elderly (85+) their families and their communities nationwide;
Provide a safety net for the most vulnerable through the existing social protection services to mitigate the worsening effects the COVID-19 crisis is expected to have on income and nutrition security;
Strengthen the institutional capacities of the Department of Social Welfare to respond to emergencies through the provision of social protection services for the most vulnerable population.

3. Civil society: Support to civil society to assist Government response - USD1.5 million

Number of beneficiaries: 1.5 million Implementing partners: Karuna Mission Social Solidarity (KMSS), Metta, Land Core Group (LCG), Network Activities Group (NAG), and Gender Equality Network (GEN)

Working across all states and regions of Myanmar and with extensive networks including large sections of the population, LIFT’s strategic partners are already supporting communities within their existing projects, individually and collectively. With additional funding from LIFT, they will scale up their response to support preparedness for, management of and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The programme will:

Improve access to information on and awareness of effective prevention and response to COVID-19.
Mobilise local resources and effect support to communities provided by CSOs Create and build trust and relationships with frontline leaders and service providers 4. Rakhine: Access to clean water and hygiene products to people living in camps - USD2,268.000

COVID-19 response in camps and villages Budget: USD268,000 Number of beneficiaries: 31,000 Implementing partner: International Rescue Committee

The programme will:

Provide access to clean water and hygiene items to internally displaced people (IDP) living in camps and villages and to underserved communities in Myebon and Minbya townships Build resilience to the spread of COVID-19 amongst the most vulnerable and marginalised groups in Rakhine through awareness raising, provision of essential items and maintained access to basic needs and services.
Rakhine Small Grants Budget: USD2 million Number of beneficiaries: TBC Implementing partner: Metta

The programme will:

Support CSOs to help communities to prevent, mitigate and recover from the impacts of COVID-19.
Increase CSOs’ capacity in Rakhine State In addition, LIFT’s implementing partners in Rakhine are diverting existing resources towards the COVID-19 response, limiting the spread of the disease and exposure of field staff and communities to unjustified risks. Protective items are supplied for project beneficiaries, project staff and to support the Department of Public Health in Rakhine. LIFT continues to support nutrition activities that provide treatment for severely acutely malnourished children in IDP camps in Pauktaw and referral of children to the health services in villages of Pauktaw, while adapting to new operational challenges.

5. Communication: Information via traditional and social media - USD120,000

Number of beneficiaries: 1.5-2 million audience Implementing partner: BBC Media Action

Through the BBC Media Action Yay Kyi Yar radio show and digital content, the programme will:
Raise awareness, provide information and social and behaviour change communication on COVID-19 Reach out to migrants and their family members on money management and migration issues Provide information for workers and migrants on staying healthy, physically and mentally. .................................................................................................................................
For more information, please contact:

Emilia Hinkkanen LIFT Communications Specialist emiliah@unops.org Tel: (+95) 9750 138 489

Hsu Mon Aung LIFT Communications Analyst hsumona@unops.org Tel: (+95) 944 800 7372