UN-Habitat’s assistance to ethnic communities continues with support of Government of Japan


Nay Pyi Taw, 27April 2016. The signing of “Exchange of Notes” between the Government of Japan and four UN agencies – UN-Habitat, UNHCR, WFP and FAO – took place on 27th April 2016, morning at the Ministry of Border Affairs. The Union Minister for Border Affairs of the Government of Myanmar H.E. Lt. General Ye Aung witnessed the event. The Ambassador of Japan to Myanmar H.E. Tateshi Higuchi signed on behalf of the Japanese Government, while the representatives of the UN agencies signed on behalf of their respective agencies.

UN-Habitat, again supported by the Government of Japan, will be able to assist vulnerable ethnic communities of Chin State on constructing community infrastructure, increasing access to safe drinking water and reconstructing housing badly affected by the 2015 floods. This will be possible with the kind grant contribution of JPY 607,000,000.

“The Project for Emergency Support to Poor and Vulnerable Communities in Ethnic Areas” focuses on 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. The project will be implemented in 200 villages across Hakha, Tedim, Falam and Thatlang townships. The projects aims to benefit over 90,000 people.

UN-Habitat Country Programme Manager Mr. Bijay Karmacharya, said the utilization of the grant for housing and infrastructure needs will contribute to the policy priority of the Government of meeting the needs of the most vulnerable and will promote the cause of enhancing peace.

The Government of Japan has been supporting Myanmar to help advance democratization in the country. It is also trying to deepen economic relations between Japan and Myanmar by helping improve the country’s infrastructure with the objective of enhancement of people’s lives and livelihoods.

Chin State remains the poorest state among 14 regions and states in Myanmar with seventy three per cent of the people below the poverty line.The 2015 floods affected 9 townships in the state, causing widespread damage to households and basic infrastructure in the region. The Myanmar Post-Disaster Needs Assessment of Floods and Landslides report determined that Chin State had the second highest (behind Rakhine State) number of affected households in the region, with 3,987 homes either collapsed or destroyed during the floods, and of these households 2,934 requiring relocation. The project will help selected; most needy and vulnerable families; in rebuilding their dwellings.

The Government of Japan is one of the strongest development partners of UN-Habitat. In Myanmar it has assisted vulnerable communities and supported over half a million ethnic people with its grant assistance in two similar projects earlier.