Ongoing UN and Japan Cooperation on Rakhine extended in 2019 to also support communities in Kachin and Shan

  • The Government of Japan and eight United Nations Agencies today signed a US$ 37 million value agreement to implement humanitarian and development projects in Shan, Kachin and Rakhine States.

Naypyidaw - The Government of Japan and eight United Nations Agencies today signed a US$ 37 million value agreement to implement humanitarian and development projects in Shan, Kachin and Rakhine States. The funding will enable the delivery of life-saving assistance, protection, trust-building initiatives and early recovery support to women, men, girls and boys across the three states.  This important partnership builds on a US$ 20 million agreement that was signed in 2018, that aimed to assist half a million people in Rakhine State.

“I thank the Government and people of Japan for their continued support to respond to immediate humanitarian needs and address the long-term development prospects in Rakhine as well as Kachin and Shan States,” said UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator ad interim Knut Ostby. “The UN agencies signing today appreciate the continued confidence of our partners that enable us to add urgently needed support for humanitarian activities in Kachin and northern Shan States to the ongoing humanitarian and development initiatives in Rakhine State.” 

The agreements were signed by His Excellency Mr. Ichiro Maruyama, Ambassador of Japan to Myanmar and representatives of the participating UN Agencies. UN bodies that receive contribution under the agreements include the International Organization on Migration (IOM), UN-Habitat, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), UN Women, and the World Food Programme (WFP).

The Agreement was signed in the presence of representatives of the Union Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement and Union Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In order to address cross-cutting humanitarian and development needs, approximately half of the funding will support critical life-saving activities, including food assistance, shelter, water and sanitation. The remaining funds will be invested in longer-term development initiatives to improve living standards for all communities, including restoration of livelihoods and building government capacity. Further activities under these partnerships will include, among others:

  • Supporting the Government of Myanmar in creating conditions conducive to the sustainable return of displaced persons from and within Rakhine State and addressing statelessness;
  • Supporting women leaders to be effective advocates for gender equality and women’s empowerment, and strengthening government capacities to ensure gender-responsive policies, programmes and service delivery;
  • Supporting internally displaced people affected by conflict in three states through critical humanitarian support including food, health, education, protection, shelter and camp management, and water and sanitation programming;
  • Prepare for and implement a community-driven, beneficiary-led rebuilding of settlements for returning refugees and internally displaced persons;
  • Improving service delivery, access to justice, and creating local development opportunities that promote social cohesion and community resilience; and
  • Empowering and protecting women, ensuring they can access health services and can contribute to and benefit from inclusive growth and development.

The projects signed today will be implemented over the next twelve months, with work scheduled to begin in April 2019.

“We must be ambitious because the needs of the people in these three States are great,” added Knut Ostby. “UN agencies have integrated their activities in line with the humanitarian-development-peace-human rights nexus to achieve better results.”

Annex: Sample results achieved over the past 12 months in Rakhine State under the agreement signed between the UN and Japan in February 2018

  • Over 200,000 people received food assistance;
  • School feeding program reached 72,000 primary school students;
  • More than 30,000 internally displaced people benefitted from camp coordination and camp management;
  • Over 1,800 people were supported with reconstruction or repair of shelters;
  • 150,000 people obtained hygiene supplies;
  • 20,000 children received support in child friendly spaces;
  • Mobile clinic treated 15,000 patients;
  • 3,000 of the most vulnerable women and girls received dignity kits containing female hygiene items;
  • Over 11,000 women received sexual and reproductive health services supporting safe birth, and pregnancy by choice, not chance;
  • Cash for work for the rehabilitation of social infrastructures is being provided in four townships, covering a total of 28 village tracts, 88 villages and 15,000 households;
  • Over 90 law officers and judiciaries participated in knowledge sharing forums on due process, fair trials, human rights and gender-based violence in August and October 2018.

For further information contact:

UNFPA: Yenny Gamming +95-9260400005 or

UNICEF: Alison Rhodes, ++95 1 2305960 Ext: 2420 or

UNHCR: Billie Phillips, +95 9785505364 or

UNDP: Sandra Barrows, +(95-1) 542910 to 19 Ext: 2237 or

Office of the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator: Stanislav Saling, +95 942 6519871 or

 Background on UN agencies

 Established in 1951, IOM is the leading inter-governmental organization in the field of migration and works closely with governmental, intergovernmental and non-governmental partners. With 169-member states, a further 8 states holding observer status and offices in over 100 countries, IOM is dedicated to promoting humane and orderly migration for the benefit of all. IOM works to help ensure the orderly and humane management of migration, to promote international cooperation on migration issues, to assist in the search for practical solutions to migration problems and to provide humanitarian assistance to migrants in need, including refugees and internally displaced people. IOM established its operations in Myanmar in 2005, and Myanmar became IOM’s member state in 2012.

On the ground in about 170 countries and territories, UNDP works to eradicate poverty while protecting the planet. We help countries develop strong policies, skills, partnerships and institutions so they can sustain their progress.

UNFPA works to deliver a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled. Active in Myanmar since  1973, UNFPA partners with the Government, NGOs and other development stakeholders to implement programmes on sexual and reproductive health and rights; gender equality and women’s empowerment; and population data for development.

UN-Habitat is the United Nations programme working towards a better urban future. Its mission is to promote socially and environmentally sustainable human settlements development and the achievement of adequate shelter for all.

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is mandated to provide humanitarian aid and protection to refugees, forcibly displaced communities and stateless people worldwide, and assist in their safe and voluntary repatriation, local integration or resettlement.

UNICEF has been working with the Government and the people of Myanmar since 1950. In partnership with the Government and the civil society, UNICEF’s current focus of work aims at reducing child mortality, improving access and quality of education and protecting children from violence, abuse and exploitation.

UN Women is the UN organization dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women. A global champion for women and girls, UN Women was established to accelerate progress on meeting their needs worldwide. UN Women supports UN Member States as they set global standards for achieving gender equality, and works with governments and civil society to design laws, policies, programmes and services needed to ensure that the standards are effectively implemented and truly benefit women and girls worldwide.

WFP is the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Each year, WFP assists some 80 million people in around 80 countries.

Media Contacts
UN entities involved in this initiative
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
International Organization for Migration
United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
UN Women
United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women
United Nations Population Fund
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
United Nations Children’s Fund
United Nations Office for Project Services
World Food Programme
World Health Organization