The Japanese government says it is ready to contribute US$100,000 (K133.7 million) for each community-centred infrastructure project in villages to help underdeveloped areas of the country.
The money, from Japan’s Official Development Assistance, will be channelled via the Japanese embassy in Yangon, and any village can apply for the funds, which are mainly aimed at building facilities such as health care and training centres, roads and bridges.
“We don’t have many restrictions for project applications, but we will check the applications to see which project is important, and those will be given priority,” Ayano Suzuki, third secretary of the embassy, said on Tuesday.
“There were some problems in providing infrastructure projects because some of them didn’t fully use buildings provided by us.
“We want them to maximise our infrastructure funds,” said Suzuki.
Many school building projects have been financed by the Japanese embassy, which have directly benefitted local communities.
“Now teachers and students are comfortable to teach and to learn because of these classrooms.
“Before, it was difficult to teach students because we had no school buildings and specific teaching rooms,” said Sayadaw U Dhamar Sarabiwuntha, headmaster of San Kya Monastery Post-primary School in Myin Chan township of Mandalay Region.
In 2013, the Japanese embassy helped build the two-storey school which now provides educations for some 600 students.
According to Japanese embassy officials, they have been providing infrastructure development aid in Myanmar since 1993 and in that time have built over 800 projects, mostly school buildings.
The embassy usually funds about 50 projects per year at a cost of $100,000 for each project.
Most project applications are received from Bago and Ayeyarwady regions.