Unique Partnership Seeks to Increase Developmental Role of Migration in Myanmar

Labour Migration, Migration and Development

Myanmar - One in four people in Myanmar is a migrant, many migrating in search of work. In this environment of high mobility, IOM and partners this week launched the project Twe Let – Increasing the Developmental Impact of Labour Migration through Strengthened Governance and Partnership.

Twe Let, which means "hand in hand" in the Myanmar language, seeks policy and community level partnership to increase the developmental role of migration. Supporting the efforts of the Government of Myanmar at the policy level, the project is led by the Ministry of Labour, Immigration and Population (MOLIP) and will establish Myanmar’s first-ever comprehensive migration policy.

The project supports Myanmar’s development priorities and will address international migration as well as internal migration. Additionally, it is a mechanism to "mainstream" migration into national and local sectoral development planning.

At the community level, Twe Let supports migrants and their families from rural communities ensuring that their migration decisions improve their living conditions, helping them out of poverty to lead to inclusive and sustainable development. Twe Let aims to provide direct assistance to 50,000 potential migrants and members of migrant-sending households from rural communities in 29 townships of Chin State, Mandalay Region, Magway Region, Shan State, Mon State, Kayin State and Thanintharyi Region.

The Twe Let project was launched by U Myo Aung, Permanent Secretary of MOLIP, and was attended by over 80 participants from the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, including state and regional governments, members of parliament, civil society, international organizations, the private sector and the donor, Livelihoods and Food Security Trust Fund (LIFT).

“This partnership formed between MOLIP, IOM and CSOs to implement the Twe Let project is the key to capitalize the impact of migration on Myanmar’s development. It will contribute to the protection of the rights of Myanmar migrants for safer and more gainful migration,” said U Myo Aung.

The project, worth USD 6.5 million, to be implemented over 30 months, provides aspiring migrants and their families with practical information and tools to help them take the best migration decisions and actions.

Migrant-sending families are supported through financial literacy training with the aim of increasing their ability to manage remittances and increase the developmental impact of remittances. Skills development training will also be provided for aspiring migrants and migrant‐sending households, including practical skills for employment and self-employment through migration and job-matching support to trainees.

“People choose to migrate for better lives for themselves and their families. However, migration does not guarantee a better life. Without good planning and preparation, people could end up migrating from one form of poverty to another. Through this project, we aim to support migrants and their families to place migration in their broader livelihood strategies and to increase developmental outcome of migration,” said Michiko Ito, Programme Manager at IOM Myanmar.

Twe Let is implemented by a unique consortium of organizations which include IOM, Chin Human Rights Organization (CHRO), the Mon coalition led by Mon Women’s Organization (MWO), Parami Development Network (PDN), and Pact Global Microfinance Fund (PGMF), with MOLIP as the counterpart Ministry.

National actors are central to delivering the Twe Let project throughout the targeted townships, while two international organizations renowned for their respective areas of expertise will be providing technical and operational support. Twe Let is the largest project funded through the migration section of LIFT.

LIFT's Migration Programme was launched in 2016 in recognition of the extensive impact that migration has on rural and urban transformation. Currently, the migration programme provides funding to 15 partners from international and national organizations, the Government of Myanmar, academia and media to jointly make migration safe and a real prospect for development.

For further information, please contact Michiko Ito, IOM Myanmar, Tel: +95 943170624, Email: mito@iom.int

Members of the Parami Development Network and IOM's Michiko Ito (second from right) at the Twe Let launch in Myanmar. Photo: IOM