”Endeavors are being made by the ministry for development, including social protection, safety from harm, provision for rapid assistance, and improvement of conditions.”
- Union Minister Dr. Win Myat Aye
By Naing Lynn Kyi
During the third year period of the incumbent Government, the tangible reform agenda and the swift implementation of the Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement are being centered and focus along with the people and worked in cooperation with the public and poised ahead in the same steps.
Endeavors are being exerted by the ministry for individual stance and development including the social protection, the safety from harm’s way, the provision of rapid assistance, and the making of better condition than the previous situation.
Convincing the effective rehabilitation is vital for the relief of social dilemma and disaster, the ministry has expanded one new department. On 31st January 2018, under the Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement, Department of Rehabilitation was established with the staffs from the existing two departments. Moreover the name of Relief and Resettlement Department was changed to Disaster Management Department.
For the greater good of the people, the budget allocation from 0.09 to 0.41 per cent is seen during the third year plan of the new government.
With a view to saving wastage in the public funds, the under staffed ministry has sought and looped in additional manpower from the General Administration Department, the civil societies and the general public.
As the fine and fast arrangement are being made in the distribution of the aids and cash to the people, there comes the voices and echoes of good feedback from the people. In drawing up the relevant work preparation including the strategic plan, a research center was established, and subsequently four research papers have been approved by the Protocol and Ethnic Board (PEB). Research papers with pragmatic approach are connected with the Modified Conditional Cash Transfer (MCCT), the Social Cohesion, the Survey on Earthquake and the Rakhine Joint Assessment.
In the best interest of the pubic, the supervisory team for project implementation was being formed in 2018-2019 fiscal year and that (14) non-governmental organizations have been scrutinized.
In giving the exposure of Myanmar images to the international community, the responsible persons of foreign governments, the UN agencies and the international organizations; they are being provided with information of policies, principles, and techniques through frequent discussions with positive approach.
Taking care of the child from the pregnancy period up to the age of (8) of the child, the Department of Social Welfare is undertaking Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) and Child Protection Programme.
Child Protection Programme
From the time of pregnancy until (2) years of the child, proper development of the brain is very much vital, and therefore, raising awareness on nutrition in addition to monthly cash assistance of MMK 15,000 is provided to the womenfolk.
The project started in 2017-2018 in Chin State, Rakhine State and Naga Self-Administrative zone, and it expanded in Kayin State and Kayah State in 2018-2019. The budget allocated was MMK 17.832 billions from the government treasury and MMK 5.592 billions from international aid agencies.
Embracing (6) months infants to (3) years children under day-care bracket as well as (3) years to (5) years kids, where no pre-primary day care is available, are being looped into(650) newly established units of community based mother circles for all-round development of the children in 2018-2019 fiscal year with momentum. It is part of early childhood care.
In the elevation and boosting of childhood care and development, as well as imparting lifelong basic learning, a total of (1,025) community based pre-primary child care centers on self-helped basic have been commissioned.
For the proper functioning of the early childhood care centers, one month teachers’ training have been facilitated in (200) townships in 2018-2019 fiscal year.
In identifying and finding out the less developed children door to door in time and to lend hands to the parents, the Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) centers have been established in Yangon Region, Ayeyawady Region, Sagaing Region and Mon State, and subsequently picked out (851) children from ward and villages.
For the needy children of infant to (10) years in age, (7) child care centers have been functioning and that the kids under (18) are being taken care at (10) youth training schools.
In search of alternative ways and means for taking care of the children similar to embracing into arms the by the real and genuine parents for a limited time period, some new measures are being implemented in townships namely Dalla, Insein, Hlinetharya and North Okkalapa of Yangon Region, and MahaAungMyay Township and ChanMyaThazi Township of Mandalay Region.
A building with international standard of the Care Center for Abandoned Children (Nay Pyi Taw) is in the process of construction in Wunna Theidhi Ward in Zabuthiri Township. The building was donated by the Orphan Reduction and Protection Association (Myanmar) and well wishers to the Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement.
Tasks of Youth Care
Youth policy is being drawn for Myanmar Youths to become multi-developed citizens by the Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement, Ministry of Health and Sport, Ministry of Education in cooperation with relating departments and also youth representatives including women, persons with disability in States and Regions , UN organizations, NGOs and INGOs. Youth Policy is adopted by Cabinet on 8th November, 2017. Youth Policy Launching Ceremony was held on5th January 2018 at MICC (II), Nay Pyi Taw.
A discussion on draft National Strategic Plan for Youth Policy was held at Mingala Thiri Hotel, Nay Pyi Taw on 25 and 26 of March 2019.
Awareness raising activities were held at union level, state and region levels across the country from 25 November 2018, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to 10 December 2018, Human Rights Day, the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence Campaign.
With a view to compile people’s voices for (24) hours, the help-line 067-3404222; 067-3404999 have been opened up for the people, and eventually resolved many problems.
In providing services for the women, “One Stop Women Support Centers (OSWSCs)” are being setup in Yangon, Mandalay and Mawlamyine, and then further expanded in Lashio and Hpa-an in 2018.
Total of (90) women are sheltered at the centers and that (60) vulnerable girls have been provided with jobs for livelihood with the total budget of MMK 26.24 millions.
Social Protection Assistances
A total of MMK 2299.955 millions have been provided as aid assistances to various organizations namely (225) units of Youth Development Shelters; (12) units of Disabled Shelters; (80) units of Home for the Aged; (13) units of Women’s Shelters; (1025) units of Self-help Pre-Primary Schools across the country.
Cash assistance are also provided to (622) pregnant mothers with MMK (21.545) millions; to (1,201) children under (5) years with MMK 46.990 millions; to (43,128) people with disabilities with MMK 1,291.385 millions; to (5,785) households of women led families with MMK 114.855 millions, amounting in all to MMK 1,472.123 millions.
Monthly Universal Social Pensions have been provided to elderly in 2017-2018 in the whole country at the age bracket of above (90), and then reduced to (85) and above in 2018-2019, benefiting to (168,578) elderly people with MMK 5057.340 millions in total cash.
Children are placed at the temporary child friendly spaces in the IDP shelters due to armed conflicts across the country. They are provided with cash assistances with MMK 1.5 millions to each group, and that (68) units of child friendly spaces have received MMK (102) millions.
Drafting of policies and laws
For National Strategic Plan of Youth Policy, the first meeting was held on 26 March 2018. A discussion on draft National Strategic Plan for Youth Policy was held at Mingala Thiri Hotel, Nay Pyi Taw in March 2019 and likely to release soon.
The Child Rights Law (Draft) have been completed and submitted to the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw for approval on 6 July 2017 and then submitted to Amyotha Hluttaw in 2018.
The new prostitution law (draft) is in the process and that another draft law, on the prevention of violence against women, is drawing.
National level policy and law for the elderly along with the by-law are in the process.
Total of (116) multi-hazard protection buildings are under construction in states and regions namely Bago, Taninthayi, Ayeyawady, Sagaing, Kayin, Mon, Rakhine, Chin and Shan.
National level drill and exercise for countering earthquake was worked out in February 2018, and that the national level preparation and response plan to counter earthquake and natural disaster was drafted in 2018. Moreover, a think tank of advisors has been formed in connection with national disaster management in the country.
The disaster management committees were also formed at regions, states, self-administered regions and zones, districts, townships, wards and villages, and that the rehabilitation tasks were carried out in momentum in 2018.
Natural disasters and flood hit areas during 2018 namely Kayin State and Mon State, Bago Region and Taninthayi Region have been accorded with assistances such as that of food stuff and relief materials; that of crop seedlings for cultivation; that of repair of roads and bridges; that of reconstruction of houses and monasteries; incurring MMK 6167.78979 millions.
Myanmar has already formed the “Myanmar Preparedness Partnership” (MPP). Moreover, with the aid and assistance of Canadian government, Myanmar is using the ADB technology on the implementation of “Strengthening Climate and Disaster Resilience in Myanmar”. Furthermore, the Technical Assistance Project is under implementation.
In cooperation and collaboration with the UNDP and the ADB, Myanmar has adopted the “Recovery Guidelines” to be used as standard norm for rehabilitation tasks after encountering the natural disaster.
The 9th ASEAN’s Disaster Simulation Exercise was being held from 26 March to 1 April 2018, and that Myanmar has assumed the alternative chair of the ASEAN Natural Disaster Management Committee for 2019.
With regards to the fire that continues to burn at Yangon waste dump at garbage near Htein Pin cemetery in Yangon’s Hlingthaya Township on 21 April 2018, assistance and cooperation on technology was being sought from the Office of the ASEAN Secretariat and AHA Center.
The statistics and information on disasters and damages in Myanmar from 2015 to 2017 have been compiled through online system, and subsequently submitted to United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) on 30 September 2018.
Moreover, review tasks are being carried out such as that of the early assessment and evaluation of the natural disasters; that of the appraisal over the program on the awareness raising and necessary items in the preparedness program; and that of the review over the emergency relief assistances.
After June 2018, aid and relief assistances become fast and swift as transport vehicles are provided to region and state offices, and more districts and townships are expanded.
As more staff members are recruited and more offices have been commissioned, necessary aid and relief assistances could be distributed to the public in shortest possible time, mitigating the suffering of the people.
Moreover, all the main responsibilities and tasks such as that on distribution of information; awareness raising; risk reduction; construction of buildings; profuse use of technology in disaster management; engage in more research works; hook up cooperation with international organizations; are functioning well.
More offices and shelters have been expanded for the vulnerable groups; narcotic and human trafficking; drug rehabilitation; and temporary shelters for victims.
Plans are underway for better treatment to be delivered in a separate department in top gear to the people with disability; to the elderly; to the drug addicts; to the trafficked victims; to the abandoned kids; to the child soldiers; to the helpless women; to the IDPs of conflict zones; and to the migrated families.
More emphasis is being centered for the people with disabilities during the third year term of the new government with all round care in five-year strategic plan.
In 2018, total of (75) child soldiers have been rehabilitated and looped back with the community, and moreover, (2) youth training centers transferred from the Ministry of Home Affairs have been taken up for functioning.
Community based drug rehabilitation courses have been conducted with the voluntary supervisors.
A review on research work over the three-year drug rehabilitation task has been carried out, and subsequently a network is being established among the community based civil societies with regards to the drug rehabilitation.
According to the statistical index, Rakhine State stands on the dot of second last developed state in Myanmar, and that for many decades the land is suffering from social conflicts.
Government formed a Central Committee for the Implementation of Peace and Development in Rakhine State.
Meanwhile, the President’s Office also announced the formation of four working committees to assist the central committee in order to achieve success in the implementation of peace, stability and development.
Job opportunities and employment have been provided to local people in the Rakhine State by assisting in various ways and means including investment to the Smart Garment Industry; the Khine Pyi Soe Garment Industry; the Shwe Kyar Traditional Weaving Industry.
The Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement have announced a plan to close camps for internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees in four states.
The ministry is designing a national strategic plan to close IDP camps in Rakhine, Kachin, Shan and Kayin states after the national strategic plan is adopted.
In the year 2018, total of MMK 15598.169 million have been provided for the social protection plan and for the disaster management in Rakhine State.
The tasks of the ministry included that of in reducing the negative impact on social development of the country; that of aiding and assisting through indirect approach in social protection program.
In conclusion, the writer of this article would like to share the observation of the Union Minister Dr. Win Myat Aye who firmly believes that the collective works in the assigned tasks would surely overcome the existing challenges in the days ahead.
Translated by UMT (Ahlon)