Myanmar- development cooperation 2013-2015
Myanmar has been selected as a priority country in the Guidelines of the Italian Development Cooperation for the period 2011 – 2013 -2015 for the high poverty rates and the starting of reform processes. Myanmar has made a considerable effort towards gradual democratization and opening up the country to international relations in the fields of development and the economy. Consequently, the Italian Development Cooperation has launched a new phase, thanks to the democratic transition began with the new civilian government in March 2011, reinforced by the positive contribution of the by-elections in April 2012. The new policy framework has allowed an evolution of cooperation based on emergency response to a more structural approach, aimed at promoting and supporting the country's development.
A continued support is needed as well as significant efforts to pursuit democracy, respect for human rights and participatory development by the Burmese authorities, and other relevant entities, central and regional / local levels (Myanmar is a Union of Ethnic States). The situation in the country remains difficult, especially in rural areas where live 70% of the population. The improvement of their situation and living conditions is a key priority.
At the present stage, the strategy of the Italian Cooperation in Myanmar aims to support the reform process and to contribute to the realization of the National Development Plan, focused on the fight against poverty, the revitalization of the economy and improvement, in the short to medium term, of the Burmese people living conditions.
Development Cooperation aims to facilitate the opening of the country and the strengthening of capacities and institutions, with the aim to assist the relevant institutions in the formulation and implementation of socio-economic development strategies. The focus is on rural development and protection of cultural heritage, a sector in which the Italian Cooperation has obtained a comparative advantage. Sustainability and appropriation are priority criteria, as well as support for decentralized coop
After the suspension of EU sanctions, new impetus was given to the Italian Development Cooperation with Myanmar by the visit of the former Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi in Yangon in April 2012, first among the EU foreign ministers.
Italy is part of the existing coordination mechanisms (EU, bilateral and multilateral donors, the sectoral working groups, etc.). The mechanism described above is completed by the creation of 17 Sector Working Groups (SWG) covering major areas of development. In this context, Italy leads the Working Group on Culture together with UNESCO and participates all SWG on "Improving the status of women".
In 2013 a technical assistance program was reinforced with an action aimed at the field of statistics, rural development and food security, cultural and sustainable tourism heritage and improvement of local governance.
Myanmar and Italy are stepping up cooperation in capacity building for cultural heritage preservation of Myanmar. The capacity building program for preservation of Myanmar cultural heritage is being done with Italy's assistance under the supervision of the UNESCO.
Collaboration among Myanmar Information and Culture Ministry and Italian Foreign Ministry is based on increasing cooperation in training for human resources development of Myanmar and further cooperation in cultural and information sectors.
The capacity building programs for preservation of Myanmar cultural heritage cover three sectors, namely on-job training to draw management plan for safeguarding sites of cultural heritage in ancient Pyu and Bagan cities in need of urgent preservation, cultural heritage data management with the application of geography information system, and policy and technological assistance to Myanmar.
Meanwhile, Myanmar is nominating three Pyu city states -- Beikthano, Hanlin and Sri Kestra to the world heritage list. The Myanmar ministry is also working in cooperation with the UNESCO to sign the Intangible Cultural Heritage Convention to win a place in the world's heritage list for the country's tangible cultural heritage.
A continued support is needed as well as significant efforts to pursuit democracy, respect for human rights and participatory development by the Burmese authorities, and other relevant entities, central and regional / local levels. The situation in the country remains difficult, especially in rural areas where live 70% of the population. The improvement of their situation and living conditions is a key priority.
In line with the general objectives above, the strategy and the resources of the Italian Development Cooperation in Myanmar are targeted at priority areas:
1) rural development, with an investment of 20 million euro in aid credit, already approved; delivery is expected between 2014 and 2016, with the aim of contributing to the strengthening and development of local communities. More help on credit resources are programmed in agriculture and rural development sector. A contribution to a gift of 700,000 euro to Livelihood and Food Security Trust (LIFT) was approved in December 2013;
2) animal husbandry and fishing, with two initiatives aimed at improving the capacity of public institutions in these areas, at central and local level, in order to increase production (1 million euros in 2013 and 2014);
3) capacity building and local development, mainly through SME (1 million euro in 2013, 2,000,000 in 2014 and 2015), with the aim of capacity building for endogenous local development;
4) cultural heritage (€ 1 million in 2013, € 500,000 in 2014), with the aim of supporting Myanmar's ability to preserve its unique cultural heritage and promote the sustainable use of this resource for local development;
5) strengthening governance, census and statistics, in order to improve the ability of central and local institutions (1.3 million euro in 2013 and 2014);
6) gender equality and strengthening the female component (500,000 euro in 2014), with the aim of improving the living conditions of women in Myanmar, with special attention to the female population in rural areas.
Italy approved an allocation of resources of 24,8 mill for development together with the assignment of a Senior Expert of Development Cooperation at the Embassy in Yangon, in order to follow up and coordinate the initiatives funded by Italy and to ensure the Italian participation in donor coordination.See above.