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EU Myan Ku Fund pays over 45,000 Myanmarese workers

13
Aug '20
Pic: Smart Myanmar
Pic: Smart Myanmar
Myanmarese garment workers who have lost jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic continue receiving financial assistance through a €5 million (7.9 billion MMK) European Union (EU) emergency cash fund ‘Myan Ku’. Between May 1 and August 3, halfway through the initiative, the fund has distributed emergency cash payments worth €2.5 million to 45,061 workers.

The EU Myan Ku Fund cash transfer programme has been extended till 30 November. Cash transfers will continue to be provided to garment, textile and footwear industry workers who have lost their jobs. Unemployed pregnant workers, migrant workers and workers who are using their unemployment period to enroll in educational and skills training programmes can from now on benefit from this support, according to information posted on the website of the EU’s Smart Textile & Garments project.

The broadening of the target group will ensure the nutritional needs of unemployed pregnant workers are met. It will specifically help migrant workers and workers facing discrimination in employment to receive essential basic support that could facilitate their return into the workforce.

A key objective of Myan Ku is to safeguard jobs of rural women, who can endure the current crisis and emerge with their livelihoods intact. In total, 26,578 factory workers from about 230 factories in the garment, textile and footwear industries have been enrolled and supported since the programme started. Cash transfer support has ranged from 35,000 MMK per month to 125,000 MMK per month. Workers who are only employed part-time in the factories and earn less than 100,000 MMK can receive 50 per centmatching assistance from Myan Ku.

Myan Ku was initiated in April this year by the EU as a rapid response measure to alleviate the socio-economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on predominantly female garment workers in Myanmar who lost their jobs due to the crisis.

It aims to provide cash support for around 50,000 garment workers, compile data and research on the impact of COVID-19 on the garment sector in Myanmar, and in cooperation with the ministry of labour, immigration and population, offer technical guidance in the set-up and refinement of future unemployment insurance schemes.

The initiative is funded by the EU’s NEXUS Response for Myanmar and implemented by the United Nations Office of Project Services (UNOPS) and sequa’s SMART Textile & Garments project staff.

Local stakeholders and organizations supporting this successful and innovative project include the Confederation of Trade Unions Myanmar, the Myanmar Garment Manufacturers Association, the Centre for Economic and Social Development, Pyi Gyi Khin, Opportunities NOW, and Thone Pan Hla.

Cash transfers are remitted to workers digitally using Wave Money. To support garment workers in need, and as part of their corporate social responsibility, Wave is providing services to the Myan Ku project without their regular transaction fees.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (DS)


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