UNOPS in Myanmar

image“The local community engages during the visit of UNOPS Construction Supervisor, engineer Daw Khaing Zin Win Tun, to the site of the Rural Health Center in Nam Mum village, His Hseng township, Shan State”. Photo: UNOPS

UNOPS mission is to serve people in need by expanding the ability of the United Nations, governments and other partners to manage projects, infrastructure and procurement in a sustainable and efficient manner.

Myanmar is one of UNOPS leading operational hubs, working with over 80 partners and employing more than 300 personnel. The organization acts as fund manager for two of the largest development programmes in the country, the Three Millennium Development Goal Fund (3MDG) and the Livelihoods and Food Security Trust Fund (LIFT). It is Principal Recipient for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in Myanmar and for the Global Fund’s Regional Artemisinin-resistance Initiative, which is targeting drug resistant malaria in the Greater Mekong sub-region. UNOPS also provides procurement, project management and infrastructure services to a range of organizations, including the Government of Myanmar and international development partners.

The Three Millennium Development Goal Fund (3MDG)
The 3MDG Fund was established to accelerate progress towards the health Millennium Development Goals and Universal Health Coverage in Myanmar. In partnership with the Government of Myanmar and others, 3MDG strengthens the national health system at all levels, extending access for poor and vulnerable populations to quality health services. 3MDG is funded by Australia, Denmark, the European Union, Switzerland, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States of America, to provide over US$271 million in the period 2012-2017. It is managed by the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS).

The 3MDG Fund aims to have a significant, timely and nationwide impact, improving maternal, newborn and child health, combating HIV and AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. It will also strengthen the structures and institutions that deliver sustainable, efficient and responsive healthcare across Myanmar, extending access for poor and vulnerable populations to quality health services.

The Livelihoods and Food Security Trust Fund (LIFT)

LIFT is a multi-donor trust fund that improves the lives and prospects of rural poor people in Myanmar. LIFT is supported by Australia, Denmark, the European Union, France, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States of America. The Mitsubishi Corporation is LIFT’s first private-sector donor. Working on the principles of aid effectiveness, funds are pooled, with a current commitment of USD 432 million. By May 2016, LIFT had funded 147 projects.

LIFT supports the transformation of Myanmar’s rural economy by promoting inclusive growth, with opportunities for smallholder farmers and landless people to take part in Myanmar’s development. LIFT provides new knowledge, technologies and access to finance and markets. LIFT is also focused on improving the nutrition and resilience of its target communities.

LIFT provides technical expertise, targeted research and its position of oversight to improve programme design and cohesion for better overall impact. LIFT also works closely with the Government of Myanmar to promote pro-poor policies. At the end of 2016, LIFT support had reached more than 4.3 million people, or around eight per cent of Myanmar’s population.

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria

The Global Fund supports the prevention and treatment of the three diseases in Myanmar, with supervision from the Myanmar Health Sector Coordinating Committee – a sector wide coordinating body developing and submitting the proposal to the Global Fund and hence owning the grants and overseeing implementation. It is chaired by the Ministry of Health. The Ministry of Health is assisted by UNOPS in managing $314 million worth of Global Fund grants over a six year period (2011–2016). The targets set out in the grant agreement are being delivered in collaboration with a range of partners from local and international non-governmental organizations and UN agencies.

The Regional Artemisinin-resistance Initiative

Medical research shows the malaria strain typical of the Greater Mekong Sub-region is growing resistance to artemisinin and its partner drugs, which represents an immediate and serious threat to malaria control and its elimination efforts globally. Recognizing the need for an accelerated and well-coordinated regional approach to this emergency, the Global Fund allocated $100 million for the period 2014-2016 to cover Lao Peoples Democratic Republic, Viet Nam, Myanmar, Cambodia and Thailand. UNOPS was selected as the Principal Recipient for the initiative, in collaboration with existing Global Fund partners at country level and under the strategic oversight of a Regional Steering Committee.

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Other projects
UNOPS also manages a range of small and medium size projects in Myanmar, in collaboration with other UN agencies, national and international implementing partners and donors. These include:

  • Support to UN Secretary General’s Good Offices Presence in Myanmar
  • Provision of Advisory Services in Managing Debt for Development Swap Projects for Italian Development Cooperation
  • Establishment of the Centre for Diversity and National Harmony (CDNH) for the United Nations Peace Building Fund
  • Managing the following two components of the Norwegian Rakhine Fund (NRF) supported by Norway:
  • Anti-Human Smuggling and Trafficking Initiative, to be implemented by the Centre for Diversity and National Harmony (CDNH)
  • Health Facility Funding composed of procurement of immediate medical equipment and the design of Sittwe General Hospital

Infrastructure & Procurement

UNOPS is a global specialist in infrastructure and is currently managing the construction of around 80 rural and sub-rural health centres throughout Myanmar. It has also worked improving other health infrastructure including warehouses and clinics.

As a central procurement resource for the United Nations system and its partners, UNOPS emphasizes the efficient, transparent, cost-effective and sustainable delivery of goods and services. In Myanmar this has mainly centered on procurement of critical medicines.