Fri 25 Oct 2013
Filed under: Aid,Inside Burma,News,Religion
A major Western fund for non governmental organizations in Myanmar will provide more than US$ 22 million to NGOs to improve living conditions in 220 communities in Rakhine State that were hit by a cyclone in 2010, it announced earlier this week.
The Livelihoods and Food Security Trust Fund (LIFT) project will span four years and be implemented by a consortium of international and local NGOs led by the International Rescue Committee (IRC), a 22 October announcement from LIFT said. The consortium comprises IRC, CARE, Oxfam, Save the Children and Myanmar aid agency Better Life Organization.
“Communal conflict in Rakhine State has overshadowed the damage caused by cyclone Giri,” Rakhine State Advocate General Hla Thein said following at 22 October meeting between officials and LIFT staff in Sittwe. Very little humanitarian assistance has been provided to victims of the cyclone, many of whom have yet to recover from it, he added. The cyclone killed more than 150 people and left more than 50,000 people homeless after it hit the state on 22 October with winds of 160 miles an hour.
LIFT describes itself as a “multi-donor trust fund”. It is funded by 9 countries – Australia, Denmark, France, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States – and the European Union. The fund is managed by UNOPs.
Rakhine State Advocate General Hla Thein who met ‘Livelihood and Food Security Trust Fund’ (LIFT) told Mizzima on October 23 that LIFT would provide over US$ 22 million for rehabilitation works in cyclone Giri-hit Rakhine State.
Hla Thein said that a responsible person from LIFT told him that this organization would spend US$ 22,118,066 donated by ten countries for rehabilitation in livelihood of local people in Myaybon, Pauktaw, Kyaukphyu and Minbya Townships which were devastated by cyclone Giri in 2010.
Mr. Steve Dowall from LIFT, Mr. Vincent from International Rescue Committee (IRC), Mr. Ralf Nico Thill from IRC, Myint Sein from LIFT, Moe Win Aung from UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) met Rakhine State Advocate General Hla Thein on October 22 and they told him their programme of providing aids.
“Communal conflicts in Rakhine State overshadowed the cyclone Giri victims and there’s hardly any donation for them. The cyclone victims have not been rehabilitated,” Rakhine State Advocate General Hla Thein said.
This fund will be spent in Myaybon, Pauktaw, Kyaukphyu and Minbya for building infrastructures, digging wells and ponds for drinking water, building drainage system in the villages, fishery, capacity building in marketing and trading for their farm produce and fishery products, distribution of high grade paddy seeds in agriculture sector, distribution of chemical fertilizers, providing technical trainings, production and growing of various fruits and vegetables for providing nutritious food to the people etc, Hla Thein said.
He further said that the fund will provide aid in development of their livelihood as financial service for increasing income of these families and uplifting their lives from odd job workers, farmers and fishermen to small business owners.
Tun Lwin from Kyaukphyu Social Network said, “We will be happy if these donations reach to the people and can help them effectively.”
Cyclone Giri devastated these townships in Rakhine State on October 22, 2010 and left 45 people dead and 260,000 cyclone victims. LIFT was established in Myanmar in 2009 with donations given by donor countries. These donor countries are Australia, Denmark, EU, France, Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and United States.