Friday, February 20, 2009

Burma: Islamic Development Bank group to support rebuilding of Nargis-destroyed schools

Yangon, Myanmar, 19 February, 2009 - A group of officers from the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) Group visited cyclone-affected communities yesterday as part of the IDB's plan to help build schools in the Ayeyarwady Delta that were destroyed after Cyclone Nargis last year.

Headed by Country Projects Officer Samih Ahmad Faruqi, the IDB Group, assisted by its implementing agency, Asian Resource Foundation, visited seven schools in the townships of Kombu, Kunyangon, Dedaye, Oyapon, and Bogale. The IDB Group plans to donate approximately US$300,000 to build five schools in the Delta to accommodate about 100 students in each school.

In Bogale Township, accompanied by ASEAN Hub Officer and ASEAN volunteers, the Group visited local communities to discuss the reconstruction of two schools in Khun Tee Chaung village of Kyunnyo Village Tract and Tha Htay Gone village of Hayman Village Tract where ASEAN volunteers are currently supporting a Tripartite Core Group pilot project (1). The schools in the two villages were almost destroyed but are still being used to accommodate about 400 students.

Sharing his view after visiting the Bogale Township, Mr Faruqi said, "Schools reconstruction project is the first IDB supported emergency assistance project in Myanmar. After the successful completion of this pilot project, the Special Assistance Office of IDB will consider funding support for projects in education and health sectors at the community level."

The IDB Group's project will complement the current ASEAN Volunteer projects in order to effectively address the needs of the community as recommended in the Periodic Review, which emphasizes cross-sectoral assistance.

Dr Surin Pitsuwan, Secretary-General of ASEAN, said "We appreciate IDB Group's cooperation and support, which further strengthens ASEAN's leading role in humanitarian assistance and recovery efforts for the cyclone-affected people of Myanmar."

A Memorandum of Understanding between ASEAN Secretariat and the IDB Group was signed in September 2008 with a view to promoting economic and social development in their common constituencies. The areas of cooperation include capacity building in the areas of health, education, halal food supply and agriculture, investment promotion, and economic cooperation.

Notes: (1)The Disaster Risk Management Project in Hayman Village Tract, Bogale Township seeks to raise community awareness of disaster risk (DR) and DR management through meetings and workshops with stakeholders in the targeted villages; gather data and develop initial DRM action plan to build the community's capacity; to improve community infrastructure and plant mangrove with community participation. This project is being implemented by Mingalar Myanmar, a local NGO, in cooperation with six ASEAN volunteers from ASEAN Member States, namely Cambodia, Malaysia, Myanmar, and Thailand.

Source: Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)
Published by Mike Hitchen, Mike Hitchen Consulting
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