The bilateral programme in relation to Myanmar is guided by the “Results Strategy for Sweden’s International Development Cooperation in Myanmar 2013–2017”.
The target groups are mainly women and ethnic minorities and the result areas for the strategy are i) Increased respect for human rights, freedom of expression and accountability, ii) Broad participation in peace processes and iii) Improved health for women and children, focusing particularly on sexual and reproductive health and rights.
The goal is to contribute to a peaceful and democratic development, as well as reducing poverty in all its dimensions in Myanmar. Gender equality and the role of women in all aspects of development is a persistent theme throughout the programme.
Based on the experience from previous support, civil society development, media development and maternal and child health are salient features of the programme. As the peace processes have gained momentum, more conflict sensitive peace related support is being provided. Many of these contributions are designed to build trust between the government and ethnic groups, as well as between different ethnic groups.
The bilateral development cooperation is provided through multilateral channels, joint donor funds and international and local civil society organisations. Limitations remain for direct support to the government. A conflict-sensitive approach is guiding all of Sweden’s development assistance so as to improve the chances of lasting peace.
Sweden is actively participating in and encouraging various coordination mechanisms to reduce the risk of fragmentation. This is particularly important because many development partners have been establishing themselves in the country in a short period of time, while public administration remains weak.
In parallel with the development cooperation, Sweden is providing significant humanitarian support to Myanmar. In 2013 and 2014 amounted to about SEK 113 million and SEK 90 million respectively (including the support to the refugees in Thailand and Bangladesh).
The focus has in recent years been to address the consequences of natural disasters (cyclones Nargis and Giri) as well as protracted and emergency operations in relation to on-going armed conflict and violence (Rakhine State, South Eastern Myanmar, Kachin/Northern Shan states). Implementing partners have included amongst others the Boarder Consortium through Diakonia, various UN-agencies and international NGO’s.