|A new US$300m 5 year programme directed towards the health of mothers and young children in Myanmar|
YANGON 28 June 2011 – The seven donors who provided US$138 million to fight HIV and AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria under the Three Diseases Fund from 2006-12, have now promised US$300 million to improve the health of mothers and young children. Following a meeting this week with the Ministry of Health, the Three Millennium Development Goals Fund (3MDG) will develop a programme to offer health services to populations in Myanmar with the greatest need. The donors consist of the Governments of Australia, Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom with the European Union.
Veronique Lorenzo, the Head of Operations of the European Union Delegation will be the first chairperson for the Fund. 'We are delighted to announce the start of the 3MDG. Finally, we will extend our support to mother and child health, one of the most pressing priorities in Myanmar.' Over the next five years the Fund aims to assist the government in building a strong health network in Myanmar. Ms Lorenzo continued, 'we are happy to be working closely with the Ministry of Health and we will be helping them strengthen their systems and capacity to deliver quality basic health to the people of Myanmar'.
The Fund's Board also confirmed the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) will manage the distribution of the grant funds. Niels Guenther of UNOPS Myanmar manages the office of the Three Diseases Fund (3DF) and is in charge of the planning process for the new programme. 'UNOPS is very pleased to be selected as Fund Manager for this new programme following on from the successes of 3DF with our partners. It comes at a very good time as Myanmar is showing a great willingness to develop. We have an excellent opportunity to help create a sustainable health system in the country.'
Some resources will continue to be directed towards HIV and AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria after 3DF closes operations this year. This will help supplement the Global Fund programme in areas which it is currently unable to support, such as the fight against the spread of malaria resistant to the critical drug artimisinin.
UNOPS in Myanmar currently administers funds for the Three Diseases Fund, the Global Fund fight against HIV, tuberculosis and malaria, Livelihoods and Food Security Trust Fund (LIFT) and the Joint Initiative on Maternal, Newborn and Child Health.
A draft 'description of action' for 3MDG can be downloaded here.
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