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Myanmar: EU sets up €5 million emergency cash fund to protect garment workers from economic fall out of COVID-19

“EU sets up €5 million [7.9 billion kyat] emergency cash fund for Myanmar garment workers impacted by COVID-19”, 08 April 2020

The European Union has announced the creation of a €5 million … emergency cash fund … to support thousands of Myanmar garment workers who have lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

… It is estimated that out of the 700,000 predominantly female base of garment industry workers in the country, 350,000 are at great risk of either being suspended without pay or losing their jobs permanently.

The cash relief will be disbursed … 1) to workers … who are jobless and/or face eviction …; 2) to workers whose contracts were illegally terminated…, and; 3) to workers of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) who agree to retain workers  and to provide at least a matching support. Recipients will be selected in consultation with trade unions and local civil society organisations.

... [T]he Myan Ku project will be implemented by SMART Textile & Garments, the European Union’s long-standing flagship project to strengthen production standards and corporate social and environmental responsibility in the Myanmar garment sector.

The Myan Ku project team are cooperating with government, social partners and brands, and in close coordination with the Myanmar Garment Manufacturers Association (MGMA) and the Confederation of Trade Unions of Myanmar (CTUM).