UN welcomes $31m Japan aid contribution


YANGON — A US$31.7 million (36.9 billion kyat) donation from Japan will enable the United Nations to carry out vital aid work in some of the poorest areas of the country, particularly Chin and Rakhine states, four agencies said in a joint statement today.

The World Food Programme will get the largest share of the funding, with $19 million, while UN-Habitat ($5.1 million), the Food and Agriculture Organization ($4.5 million) and UN Refugee Agency ($3.1 million) also received support.

The UN said it welcomed the “generous” contribution from Japan, already one of Myanmar’s largest providers of development assistance.

“With Japan’s timely contribution and in partnership with the government of Myanmar, WFP will enable recovery of the most affected communities across 20 townships in Chin and Rakhine States and for this, we are most thankful.” said Dom Scalpelli, country director and resident representative of WFP Myanmar. 

Support more independent journalism like this. Sign up to be a Frontier member.

Both UN-Habitat and FAO will use the funding to help communities affected by last year’s flooding, which caused widespread damage across four states and regions.

In Chin State, UN-Habitat plans to rebuild community infrastructure, increase access to safe drinking water and reconstruct housing, while FAO will work to improve agricultural livelihoods in communities affected by conflict and floods in Rakhine and Chin states.

UNHCR will use the funding to support displaced people in Rakhine State and those without citizenship across the country.

The money was formally handed over at a ceremony in Nay Pyi Taw on April 27, with Minister for Border Affairs Lieutenant General Ye Aung accepting it on behalf of the government.

In January, the Japan Times reported that the Abe government was considering a development assistance package of close to $1 billion for the new government.

During a March meeting with Hiroto Izumi, special adviser to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi urged Japan to increase its aid to Myanmar, according to the Financial Times.

By Thomas Kean

By Thomas Kean

Thomas Kean has been working in Myanmar as a journalist and editor since 2008. Before joining Frontier in May 2016, he edited the English edition of the Myanmar Times for six years.
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on email

More stories

Latest Issue

Stories in this issue
Myanmar’s COVID-19 response needs a dose of reality
Prolonged lockdown measures are wreaking great harm and people are fed up. The government needs to ditch this blunt tool for a more surgical approach.
Myanmar’s COVID-19 response is at a crossroads, and something has to give
More than two months after they were introduced, residents and officials in Yangon are increasingly ignoring stay-at-home orders, yet the government insists infection rates need to fall before they can be rolled back.

Stay on top of Myanmar current affairs with our Daily Briefing and Media Monitor newsletters

Our fortnightly magazine is available in print, digital, or a combination beginning at $80 a year

Sign up for our Frontier Fridays newsletter. It’s a free weekly round-up featuring the most important events shaping Myanmar