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Joint news release: WFP and UNOPS Livelihoods and Food Security Fund team up to provide cash transfers for vulnerable communities affected by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in Myanmar

March 25th, 2022  •  Author:   World Food Programme and United Nations Office for Project Services  •  3 minute read
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Caption: A woman beneficiary seen with cash assistance by LIFT in Sittwe Township, Rakhine state. Photo: © WFP Zaw Win Lay  

Yangon – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and the UNOPS-managed Livelihoods and Food Security Fund (LIFT) have just launched a cash assistance programme for most vulnerable communities in conflict-affected areas as they continue coping with the impact of COVID-19 in Myanmar.

Through technical support from WFP, LIFT has recently provided one-time, 65,000 Myanmar Kyat (appr 36 USD) cash transfers to over 46,000 households, including internally displaced people and poor families in conflict-affected communities in Kachin, northern Shan, Rakhine and Chin states. The assistance targeted families whose lives and livelihoods were shattered by the coronavirus pandemic, providing them with the resources they desperately needed to meet their basic needs, including food and health care.

“Cash transfers will support families to avoid adopting negative coping mechanisms and support access to nutritious food at a time when most vulnerable households are impacted by the loss of income and amidst multiple socio-economic challenges,” said Sara Netzer, LIFT’s Fund Director.

The assistance was delivered directly to the beneficiaries through WFP’s cash transfer mechanisms already used in its operations in Myanmar.

“WFP is proud and pleased to do its part to facilitate LIFT’s cash transfers for vulnerable households in four states reeling from the impact of successive COVID waves,” remarked Stephen Anderson, WFP’s Country Director in Myanmar. “The LIFT cash transfers complement WFP efforts to scale up food and nutrition assistance for the most food insecure communities across Myanmar.”

LIFT’s previous emergency cash transfers, which were top-up payments to mothers, pregnant women, people with disabilities, migrant workers and the elderly, empowered people with choices when addressing their essential needs. The support also enhanced people’s purchasing power and stimulated local economies.

LIFT’s cash assistance is provided thanks to the financial support of the United Kingdom, the European Union, Switzerland, Australia, the United States of America, Canada, New Zealand, Ireland and Norway. With donor support, LIFT has reached more than 2.9 million people in response to COVID-19 since the onset of pandemic.

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Livelihoods and Food Security Fund (LIFT) is a multi-donor UNOPS-managed fund established in 2009 with the overall aim of reducing by half the number of people living in poverty in Myanmar. LIFT aims to strengthen the resilience and sustainable livelihoods of poor households by helping people to reach their full economic potential. This is achieved through increasing incomes, improving the nutrition of women and children, and decreasing vulnerabilities to shocks, stresses and adverse trends. To date, over 12.8 million people in 77 percent of Myanmar’s townships have benefitted from LIFT’s programmes. Follow LIFT on https://www.facebook.com/liftfund

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The United Nations World Food Programme is the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate.  We are the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change. Follow WFP on Twitter @WFP_Media and @WFPAsiaPacific

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