Myanmar, June 2012: UN-HABITAT and the Government of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, represented by the Department of Relief and Resettlement (RRD) of the Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement (MoSWRR), signed a milestone Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the 8th of June 2012 in Nay Pyi Taw. for the delivery of "The Myanmar Comprehensive Disaster Risk Reduction Programme (MCDRRP)" designed to support key national priorities to promote disaster resilience in Myanmar.
In his address, the Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement U Phone Swe made reference to the address of His Excellency President U Thein Sein on the Government's Reform Agenda which will formalize a Central Committee for the management of international assistance to enhance coordination and address gaps and needs in the service the people of Myanmar.
The Deputy Minister further expressed the hope that such mechanisms of cooperation supplemented by partnerships with the international agencies such as UN-Habitat will smoothen and expedite emergency response and recovery measures as well as prevention measures. He said, "I look forward to receiving your humanitarian assistance on a real time basis and your active cooperation on disaster prevention activities both for harmonious delivery of structural and non structural measures".
In his statement Mr. Srinivasa Popuri, Country Manager of UN-Habitat Programmes in Myanmar reiterated that the Myanmar Comprehensive Disaster Risk Reduction Programme (MCDRRP) will support many of the high priority initiatives listed in the Myanmar Action Plan for Disaster Risk Reduction (MAPDRR). Key elements of MCDRRP cover Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change issues through (1)Public Education and Awareness; (2)Training and Capacity Building; (3)Disaster Management Response; and Preparedness Plan's at various levels; (4)Mainstreaming DRR into sectoral development; (5)Support to Policy and Mainstreaming (6)Hazard and Risk Assessment.
The MOU formalizes UN-Habitat's on-going assistance to the DRR sector in Myanmar and was signed by Mr. Srinivasa Popuri, Country Manager of UN-Habitat and U Soe Aung, Director General Relief and Resettlement Department of MoSWRR .
UN-Habitat's engagement with Myanmar began in the 1980s and 1990's as the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements where the agency supported urban issues, city and regional planning as well as capacity building.In the aftermath of Cyclone Nargis relief and recovery efforts commenced in 2008, since then UN-Habitat has been closely cooperating with the Ministry and DRR stakeholders for the implementation and institutionalization of the DRR Agenda for the country with principal support from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
In addition to key sectors of cooperation with the Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement UN-Habitat is also cooperating with relevant Ministries in other sectors pertaining to the Habitat Agenda such as Urban and Regional Development, Water & Sanitation and Basic Infrastructure, Housing, Land and Environment.