Seven donors who have been funding the Three Diseases Fund in Myanmar have now pledged $300 million to improve the health of pregnant women and young children over the next five years.
The new 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. She said: "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 that UNOPS will manage the distribution of the grant funds. Niels Guenther of UNOPS Myanmar currently 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 programme being run by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, in areas which it is currently unable to support.
UNOPS in Myanmar currently administers funds for the Three Diseases Fund, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, Livelihoods and Food Security Trust Fund (LIFT) and the Joint Initiative on Maternal, Newborn and Child Health.