Myanmar and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) have signed two grant agreements financed by Japan through Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction (JFPR) grants in a bid to alleviate rural poverty and expand HIV/AIDS services into remote areas, the Manila-based lender said.
“The livelihoods grant will help communities develop viable new income opportunities needed to end the vicious cycle of rural poverty,” said Putu Kamayana, ADB’s Myanmar Country Head.
“The HIV/AIDS assistance will strengthen treatment and prevention of the disease, in collaboration with non-governmental organizations (NGOs).”
The lender said the $12-million livelihoods grant will benefit at least 700,000 people in villages in Ayeyarwady delta, central dry zone, Tanintharyi region and Shan state, where some rural communities face poverty rates more than double the urban level.
“Grants under the project will help to identify and prioritise community specific needs, which can then be financed through community block funds to enable rural people to benefit from political and economic reforms,” said U Tin Ngwe, deputy minister for livestock, fisheries and rural development.
The $10 million HIV/AIDS JFPR grant will increase access and quality to health and HIV/AIDS services, along fast developing economic corridors in Mon, Kayin, and Shan states, where new opportunities attract migrant workers and mobile populations, ADB said. An estimated 200,000 people in Myanmar are thought to be living with HIV.
“This JFPR funding will build 47 rural health centres and sub-health centres, refurbish three townships hospitals, supply medical equipment and training, and lead to better access to basic health services to some of the country’s most vulnerable people,” said Kazuhiko Koguchi, ADB’s Executive Director for Japan.