Europe supports 80% of funding for the Livelihoods and Food Security Trust Fund in Myanmar
The EU and six of its member states are the founder donors and the largest contributor towards the Livelihoods and Food Security Trust Fund (LIFT) in Myanmar.
In Myanmar, an estimated 26% of the population live in poverty and 5% live in extreme hardship, with little or no income to spend on essential food, according to the Integrated Household Living Conditions Survey in Myanmar 2009-2010.Poverty and the lack of means to buy or access basic food requirements remain to be a persistent problem in Myanmar, particularly in rural areas.
In 2009, the EU together with other donors launched the multi-donor Livelihoods and Food Security Trust Fund (LIFT) to tackle the issue of poverty and hunger directly in Myanmar’s rural communities. At present, more than 10 donors are contributing to LIFT.
In line with Millennium Development Goal 1 – to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger – LIFT’s work focuses on improving food and livelihood security in areas around the country where poverty is of particular concern.
"Through LIFT we have been able to target two million of Myanmar's rural poor. We are proud to contribute to more than 40% of the Fund as EU and to have played a leading role in the creation of LIFT," says Roland Kobia, the European Union's Ambassador to Myanmar. Together with EU member states, notably the UK, the European contribution to LIFT represents 80% of the funding.
LIFT supports a wide range of activities and projects implemented by local and international NGOs and agencies. The Fund adopts an integrated approach to promote synergies between the various projects.
Be it in increasing productivity and yields, improving local seed varieties, diversifying production, ensuring a more diverse and nutritive diet, promoting inclusive value chains, easing access to markets, strengthening farmers' organisations, or ensuring micro-finance reaches the rural poor, the focus is always on assisting smallholder farmers to determine their own way out of poverty, and supporting them to become active players in the social and economic development of the country.
"LIFT has developed an identity of its own. It is a successful experience of donors working together to achieve the same goal: reducing rural poverty and malnutrition in Myanmar", explains the EU Ambassador.
Improving living conditions in rural areas is one of the top priorities of the Government of Myanmar, as reflected in the Framework for Social and Economic Reforms and in the Strategic Framework for Rural Development. “LIFT is now adapting its strategy to mirror the priorities of the Government to reduce rural poverty. In this context, LIFT was a key supporter of the National Workshop on the Rural Development Strategic Framework held in November 2013," the EU Ambassador advises.
Through its field experience in 107 townships and through in-depth studies, LIFT has also become a platform for knowledge sharing. A wealth of information can be found on its website: http://lift-fund.org/, including a detailed map of regions covered by LIFT interventions and stories of beneficiaries. Please also visit http://www.facebook.com/liftfund
Together with the European Union, Australia, Denmark, France, Ireland, Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States of America are also supporting LIFT.