The FINANCIAL — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of Myanmar on August 31 signed an agreement for a $10 million grant to help rebuild infrastructure in Chin State that was damaged by heavy rains and landslides triggered by Cyclone Komen last year.
The grant, from the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction (JFPR), will be administered by ADB. Its main areas of focus will be to restore village and community infrastructure to increased standards of disaster resilience, and to strengthen disaster risk management capacity throughout the state.
“Roads and bridges as well as community assets such as power systems and water supplies will be restored following the concept of building-back-better to ensure increased resilience to future disasters,” said Winfried Wicklein, ADB’s Country Director in Myanmar. “This will help to spur early recovery and increased resilience of affected people and communities in Chin State. In fact we estimate that around 30% of the state’s population will benefit from the project.”
Dr Khin Zaw, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation witnessed the signing ceremony. Signatories for the government included U Khant Zaw, Director General at the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation’s Department of Rural Development, and Daw Nwe Nwe Win, Director General at the Ministry of Planning and Finance’s Treasury Department. ADB was represented by Mr. Wicklein.
Cyclone Komen prompted widespread flooding and damage across 12 of the 14 regions and states in Myanmar. Numerous landslides disrupted fragile transport links between mountainous villages and seriously damaged community infrastructure such as power and irrigation systems. Chin State, the country’s poorest area, was especially hard hit with production losses equivalent to 14% of gross regional product, according to ADB.
The grant will bolster Chin State’s capacity to prepare for future disasters by enabling updated disaster risk information and plans to be deployed across all administration levels, and strengthening their linkages to broader development plans. Since 2012, the Government of Japan-supported JFPR has supported 18 projects in Myanmar in areas including education, livelihood development, finance, transport and energy.