Finnish and Swedish support to UNDP in Myanmar

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has received an additional 30 million Swedish krona (approximately USD 3.6 M) from the Government of Sweden to support the agency’s work in Myanmar in the areas of democratic governance, local development and environmental sustainability. The announcement on 17 June follows an initial contribution of 30 M Swedish krona received in 2014.

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UNDP Country Director, Toily Kurbanov said that he was encouraged by the support provided by the Government of Sweden.

“With the initial tranche of funding from Sweden, UNDP has helped improve local governance in Myanmar, with a particular focus on strengthening women’s participation. Our partnership with Sweden has enabled UNDP to strengthen democratic institutions such as the Parliaments, and support justice actors to better engage with the people. With this new tranche of funding from Sweden, UNDP will be better able to support Myanmar’s ongoing transition.”

Ann Stödberg, Head of Development Cooperation at the Embassy of Sweden´s Section office in Yangon, stated that “Sweden is proud to continue its support to the important work being carried out by UNDP and its partners. We are convinced that the key areas for the UNDP interventions at local as well as at the national level require long-term commitments, such as the one the Swedish Government has made before and is renewing now. We hope to see results in terms of empowerment of both women and men in terms of rights and responsibilities, improved community resilience in the face of external challenges and strengthened government institutions that can respond well to the needs of vulnerable populations”.

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Swedish support has been instrumental in the establishment of Rule of Law Centres around the country, which promote improved awareness of human rights and social justice amongst community leaders and legal professionals, and enhanced community engagement on justice issues.

Earlier this year, the Director General of the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida), Ms Charlotte Petri Gornitzka met with local level women Village Tract/Ward Administrators and members of the Myanmar Rural Women’s network, May Daw Kabar during a visit to the Myanmar. Enhancing women’s leadership and rights are a key area within the UNDP program.

Earlier in the year Finland also announced support to UNDP amounting to 4 million Euros (approximately USD 4.4 M) to support the agency’s work in Myanmar in the areas of democratic governance, local development and environmental sustainability.

“We look forward to deepening our partnership with UNDP. One of Finland’s development priorities is to support the democratization of political institutions and to improve equal opportunities of all people to participate in political decision-making. Similarly we aim to support the strengthening of public administration and the judiciary to produce better public services that are accessible to people,” said Jarmo Kuuttila, Chargé d’Affaires of the Diplomatic Mission of Finland.

This is the second tranche from the Nordic country towards UNDP’s five-year country programme for Myanmar (2013-2017), following allocation of 2 million Euros in 2014 which contributed to implementation of such important UNDP initiatives in Myanmar as strengthening of the parliament; rule of law; local governance mapping; public administration reform and many others.

UNDP Country Director, Toily Kurbanov said that he was encouraged by the confidence and generous funding provided by the Government of Finland.

“With funding from Finland UNDP has supported Myanmar’s transition in many ways. We helped rural women have a greater voice through the formation of the Rural Women’s Network. We are helping government improve service delivery through the step up of one stop shops. At the Union level, we have supported the Hluttaw staff and the incoming parliamentarians.”

“The new funding from Finland comes right in time to support next generation of reforms by the next Government in Myanmar and, by strengthening democratic institutions, it will go a long way in improving the lives of the people of Myanmar,” said Mr. Kurbanov.

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