USAID Launches Programs Worth $72 Million to Strengthen Civil Society, the Media, and Local Communities
January 31, 2019
YANGON – The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is funding two new projects that will last up to five years with a combined budget of nearly $72 million (MMK 108 billion) to support Myanmar’s democratic transition. These programs will strengthen media and civil society organizations, and will also help communities in Rakhine, Kachin and northern Shan States recover from natural disasters and conflict, and work toward peace and economic prosperity.
“These assistance programs reflect the U.S. government’s continued commitment to supporting the people of Myanmar as they work toward a lasting peace with an increasingly open and tolerant society,” said U.S. Ambassador Marciel. The two projects are:
Civil Society and Media II – This project will support civil society organizations and locally-owned independent media with up to $25 million over five years. This support focuses on increasing public access to high-quality information and supporting civil society advocacy in the areas of democratic reform, peace-building, and intercommunal harmony. This follows a previous four-year Civil Society and Media Project supported by USAID.
Community Strengthening Project – This $46.4-million project, which could run up to five years, will work with communities affected by conflict in Rakhine, Kachin and northern Shan States to increase community participation and local ownership of essential services, and community development initiatives, peace, and reconciliation efforts. It will train community leaders in dispute resolution and conflict management, support deeper engagement of community leaders with local government, and support joint projects and skills training for people of diverse religious or ethnic backgrounds. This project complements the existing $48 million project which does similar work in conflict-affected areas of Kayah, Kayin, and Mon states.
“Our goal is to strengthen Myanmar’s communities and civil society so that more people have the opportunity to participate in the country’s democratic and economic development,” USAID Mission Director Teresa McGhie said.