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September 20, 2019

Japan-funded rural development project aims to enhance rural livelihoods, to increase rural incomes in targeted six townships in Myanmar

The Department of Rural Development and the Asian Development Bank on Friday had a consultation with local communities from
six areas in Myanmar to boost the latters’ access to the decision-making process in a rural development project worth US$12-million, a grant from the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction.
Series of sessions took place at the Enhancing Rural Livelihoods and Incomes Project Launch Workshop in Yangon,
with officials elaborating on the project status andimplementation arrangements and methods for village-tract prioritization and group discussions of those present.
The three-year project is aimed at benefiting local people at 96 village-tracts from selected six townships, with works to improve their livelihoods and generate their incomes.
“As the project is clearly targeted on livelihood enhancement and income generation activities, small-scale village infrastructure chosen by local people as they wish to build or upgrade should be the productive ones that can contribute towards betterment of livelihoods and greater incomes of local people”, U Khant Zaw, deputy chief engineer of the DRD told the media.
He continued that like community driven development (CDC) project underway with the World Bank grant in Myanmar, similar selection criteria were conducted for six townships—Ngapudaw and Thabaung in Ayeyawady Region, NyaungU in Mandalay Region, Mindone in Magway Region, Ywangan in Shan State and Bokepyin in Taninthayi Region.  But, the given townships will have to make village-tract prioritization for the ERLIP block grants, the official added.
“Both the projects are going to look at rural infrastructure, but the only difference is that we are also looking at livelihood support”, Pavit Ramachandran, project officer of the ADB, told The Global New Light of Myanmar, adding that the project will be able to cover only 16 village-tracts in a given township while the World Bank’s project is covering the whole township.
According to officials, 16 village-tracts per township will benefit from the project that will provide $24,000 per village-tract.
During the Q&A session, locals called for ensuring greater transparency and accountability to gain public satisfaction while the project is taking place and measures to mitigate social and environmental impacts of the project.
Representatives from Bokepyin Township with 19 village-tracts made a request for adding the remaining three village-tracts to a list of 16 priority village-tract.
In their answers to the questions, officials assured them of an effective mechanism against corruption and that Bokepyin issue will be taken into account to seek ways and means for ensuring to cover the whole township.-GNLM

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