Nippon Foundation Pledges $30M for Mon and Karen States

The newly funded projects will be built in areas controlled by signatories to Burma’s Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement.

Friday, August 2, 2019

Japan’s Nippon Foundation has pledged to provide US$30 million in aid for development projects in areas controlled by the New Mon State Party (NMSP) and the Karen National Union (KNU), both of which are signatories to the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA).

According to NMSP officials, the Japanese government and the Nippon Foundation will provide assistance for regional development and resettlement in the territories of the two ceasefire armed groups.

“The Nippon Foundation has agreed to provide $30 million for development projects in NMSP- and KNU-controlled areas, including the construction of houses, schools, and clinics and the installation of solar panels,” said Mon State government office director Myint Than Win.

He added that the state government, the NMSP, and the Nippon Foundation agreed in principle to a plan that will see the construction of 330 houses in seven villages in Ye Township, two clinics in two villages, and six Mon national schools. The agreement also includes the installation of 2,312 solar panels in 20 villages and the delivery of three tractors.

The three parties to the agreement discussed the details of implementing the plan at the Mon State government office on Wednesday, Myint Than Win told NMG.

According to Nai Hongsa, a central committee member of the NMSP, the houses, schools and clinics will be built in NMSP-controlled areas, with the houses going to members of the group.

“We submitted our regional development proposal after we signed the NCA. We are likely to start the development projects after the state government, the Nippon Foundation and the NMSP all agree on the proposal,” Nai Hongsa told NMG.

Development projects in the NMSP-controlled area are expected to begin in October and should be completed by next April, the group said.

Tractors and other machinery supplied by the Nippon Foundation were delivered in April of this year. A ceremony was held to mark the occasion at the held at the Pokphawaddy Novice Monastery in Ye Township.

With the permission of the Burmese government, the Nippon Foundation built a total of 300 houses in Lay Kay Kaw, a new town in Karen State’s Myawaddy District, in 2016 and 2017.