Myanmar calls on stake holders to cooperate in census

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Myanmar has called for all stake holders to cooperate in taking first nationwide census in three decades in 2014 for working out national development plan.

Minister of Immigration and Population U Khin Yi spoke out to the media that the 12-day census taking, using a work force of 120, 000, will be carried out from March 30 to April 10, 2014 in accordance with international standard.

International technical assistance especially from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) will involve in the move.

The census taking will be based on 60-million population with 11 million households in 14 regions or states covering 70 districts, 330 townships, 3,051 wards, 64,346 villages and 13,620 village-tracts inhabited by 135 nationalities with five major religious faiths.

However, areas which lack security account for less than 1 percent.

Of the expected cost of 58.5 million U.S. dollars for the census taking process, Myanmar government committed 15 million dollars, while the United Nations pledged 5 million dollars for materials and courses, still lacking 38.5 million dollars, it was disclosed.

Donation of 2.8 million dollars by AusAID and 16 million dollars by the British government for the census-taking have been received and that from Norway and Switzerland are being expected.

Experts from 13 countries and UN statistics division, UNFPA, ESCAP and the World Bank will also help Myanmar in the process. The last two census in Myanmar were in 1973 and 1983 which respectively registered Myanmar’s population as 28.92 million and over 35 million.

After 1983, the once-10-year nationwide census could not be taken for various reasons including the prevailing of conflict in some areas as well as some inaccessible areas.

Myanmar’s announced population in October 2012 showed 60.98 million.

President U Thein Sein occasionally stressed the need to have exact data for country’s development, pointing out that the country could not take census for 30 years since 1983 resulting in lack of exact facts and figures. The country’s development projects did not achieve success as targeted as there were big variance in facts and figures.

He also calls for ensuring peace and stability throughout the country, saying that the peace talks with all ethnic armed groups are being held for reaching ceasefire nationwide.

Designating census-taking process as a national duty, he urged all participation in the process under the leadership of the government and the armed forces.

In light of significant changes taking place in the country, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon visited Myanmar in April 2012 and agreed to provide Myanmar with technical assistance and help mobilize financial support for the country’s census in 2014.

Stressing that the census conduct is a challenge to the country which requires nationwide access, Ban hoped that future ceasefires will make this possible, pointing out that the involvement of minorities and civil society will be crucial.

In May last year, Myanmar and the UNFPA held a forum on plans for Myanmar’s 2014 Population and Housing Census, stressing broad and effective partnership involving various government sectors, parliamentarians, civil society, the private sector and international organizations for a successful census.

Source: mizzima

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