Rebuilding livelihood helping to restore peaceDec 4, 2013
Rakhine – UNDP has started livelihood activities in Rakhine, supporting the recovery of people affected by inter-communal violence last year. This work builds on more than 20 years of past experience assisting community-based development in states/regions across Myanmar including in Rakhine.
With co-funding of the Government of Japan, between April and October 2013, UNDP has helped communities to rebuild livelihood and social infrastructure such as water ponds, bridges, market access roads, jetties and embankments in 12 villages in Minbya, Mrauk U and Pauktaw townships. These activities have also created income opportunities for over 13600 men and women in the community.
The activities in Rakhine are geared to promote positive relations between the Rakhine and Muslim communities. For example, the joint community committee and joint cash-for-work activities are giving the two communities an opportunity to interact and reopen communication channels. “Strengthening social cohesion and improving capacities for peace among the conflicting communities is at the core of our activities,” Toily Kurbanov, UNDP Country Director in Myanmar said.
Tensionsbetween the two communities however is impeding UNDP’s recovery and development activities in the state. For example, the recent outbreak of violence in Pauktaw Township, has compelled UNDP and other international agencies to delay planned infrastructure activities including construction of a market. UNDP hopes its work in these locations will resume soon for the mutual benefit ofboth communities.
UNDP recently expanded its community development activities in 50 more villages in Rakhine’s Maungdaw, Minbya, Mrauk U and Kyauktaw Townships. UNDP ensured all stakeholders including affected communities, village leaders, and the State government were consulted thoroughly in selecting locations and recovery activities.
With the support of local implementing partners, UNDP’s assistance will reach over 4000 new households benefiting from livelihood assistance, immediate income-generation activities and skills based vocational training. Through its work, UNDP hopes that it will contribute both to the early and sustainable recovery of conflicted affected communities as well as to peaceful co-existence between communities in Rakhine.