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NAY PYI TAW – The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) have welcomed a timely and substantive contribution of 1.6 billion Japanese Yen (approximately US$16 million) by the Government of Japan in support of the three UN agencies’ activities in ethnic/border areas of Myanmar.

The donation was formally handed over today in Nay Pyi Taw by His Excellency Mikio Numata, Japanese Ambassador to the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, to the representatives of the UN agencies in Myanmar: UNHCR Representative a.i. Ayaki Ito; UNICEF Deputy Representative Shalini Bahuguna; and WFP Country Director and Representative Dom Scalpelli.

UNHCR received a contribution of JPY 300 million which will support the agency’s activity in assisting the efforts of the Myanmar Government to respond to the needs of conflict-affected populations, especially internally displaced people, as part of the United Nations’ inter-agency efforts in Kachin and Rakhine states. UNHCR leads a cluster supporting the provision of shelter, camp management and services, including the supply of basic domestic items based on needs assessments.

The generous contribution by the people of Japan will additionally support the Government in addressing issues related to citizenship, and also conflict-affected people in south-eastern Myanmar in Mon, Kayin and Kayah States, and Thanintharyi Region. UNHCR’s acting Representative Ayaki Ito welcomed Japan’s commitment working with the Government in Myanmar and agencies like UNHCR to enhance human security and support finding solutions to displacement.

Japan's contribution of JPY 300 million to UNICEF will help children affected by conflict in Rakhine and Kachin states to access life-saving services such as clean water, sanitation, lifesaving medicines to treat diarrhoea, pneumonia and other diseases. Children will benefit from improved overall nutrition through the treatment of severe acute malnutrition (SAM) and distribution of multi-nutrient sprinkles and tablets for both children and pregnant and lactating women.

“Children where ever they are have the same rights, and it applies in situation where they suffer most- from violence and displacement such as in Rakhine and Kachin. Opportunities missed in childhood are often missed forever. This primary concern is at the heart of the partnership we are celebrating between Japan and the UN today ", said Shalini Bahuguna, Deputy Representative at UNICEF Myanmar.

Japan’s generous JPY 1 billion contribution to WFP will support life-saving food assistance to internally displaced people in Rakhine, Kachin and northern Shan states, whose livelihoods have been disrupted through conflict and violence. The contribution will be used to buy rice, pulses, oil and salt which are the food commodities that WFP distributes monthly to the displaced populations, as well as blended food which is provided to children under five and pregnant and lactating women in view of preventing malnutrition.

More than 90 percent of the food will be purchased locally, thereby also supporting Myanmar farmers and contributing to the national economy. Japan is the largest donor supporting the current WFP operations in Myanmar, providing food assistance to the most food insecure and vulnerable people in the country.

For more information please contact:

Medea Savary - Associate Public Information Officer, UNHCR Myanmar / / +95 944 802 7892

Ye Lwin Oo - Communication Officer, UNICEF Myanmar / / Tel: +95 9 511 3295

Myint Myint Kyu – Reports Officer, WFP Myanmar / / +95 1 230 5971~6 Ext: 2421



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