Millions in Myanmar to benefit from disaster preparedness
YANGON – The Launch Workshop for the Myanmar Southeast Asia Disaster Risk Management Project, which will strengthen Myanmar’s disaster preparedness, was held today, with national and local government officials reporting on implementation progress. The event was jointly organized by the Ministry of Planning and Finance and the Yangon City Development Committee, in collaboration with the Yangon Region Government and the World Bank.
Since its approval last year, key services have been contracted to improve the drainage system and selected public facilities in Yangon. Institutional arrangements have been set up; budget and work plans have been prepared; and training on procurement, financial and project management is ongoing.
Myanmar is one of the world's most disaster-prone countries, exposed to multiple hazards that cost the country over US$184 million annually and disproportionally affect the poor. With the assistance of a US$ 116 million in financing from World Bank, the project supports the government’s efforts to reduce the impact of flooding, improve the resilience of selected public facilities against earthquakes in Yangon, and enhance the union government’s capacity to finance disaster response to emergencies across the country. Nearly half a million people are expected to benefit from the improved drainage systems, and the structural performance of selected public facilities in Yangon.
H.E. U Phyo Min Thein, Yangon Chief Minister, attended the project launch along with the Speaker of Yangon Region Parliament U Tin Maung Tun, Minister of Development Affairs and Mayor of Yangon U Maung Maung Soe and other Ministers of Yangon Region Government, Director General of the Treasury Department Daw Si Si Pyone, and World Bank Country Director for Myanmar, Cambodia and Lao PDR Ms. Ellen Goldstein.
“As Yangon is rapidly growing, risk management solutions and planning need to be integrated into our efforts to improve services for the population,” said H.E. U Phyo Min Thein, Yangon Region Chief Minister. “Yangon faces high flood risk and is in an earthquake-prone area. The project investments in the city’s drainage system, public facilities, and critical infrastructure will help achieve our aim of delivering high quality public infrastructure and services in the city.”
“With Myanmar being one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world, and the threat of climate change increasing, this project will proactively help the country prevent and minimize risks so Myanmar is ready when a disaster strikes,” said Ellen Goldstein, World Bank Country Director for Myanmar, Cambodia and Lao PDR. “The World Bank looks forward to supporting Myanmar’s efforts to respond and recover quickly so that families are safe and can return to their daily lives soon after a disaster hits.”
The project financing includes a US$1 million grant from Japan’s Southeast Asia Disaster Risk Insurance Facility (SEADRIF), a multi-donor trust fund that will support the Ministry of Planning and Finance to manage and finance the response to future disasters.