$1 Million Partnership to Empower Women in Burma

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$1 Million Partnership to Empower Women in Burma

Abbott Fund, Secretary's International Fund for Women and Girls to Support Grassroots Organizations to Advance Health, Education and Economic Opportunity
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Tuesday, July 24, 2012 - 4:15pm

CAMPAIGN: Abbott Global Citizenship

CONTENT: Article

The Abbott Fund, the foundation of the global health care company Abbott, and the U.S. Secretary of State's International Fund for Women and Girls will work together to empower women and address critical community needs in Burma, also known as Myanmar.

While in Southeast Asia on July 13, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton first announced the new partnership between the Secretary's International Fund for Women and Girls and the Abbott Fund. The partnership will advance health, education and economic opportunities for women in Burma.

The Abbott Fund will provide $1 million in grants over the next two years to support grassroots organizations that are working to advance health, education and economic opportunities for Burmese women. Through the partnership, the Abbott Fund becomes one of the first corporate foundations with programs in Burma.

This public-private partnership follows a recent fact-finding trip to Burma in May 2012 that included Abbott Fund Vice President Katherine Pickus and other private-sector organizations. Organized by the U.S. Department of State's office on Global Women's Issues and under the leadership of Ambassador-at-Large Melanne Verveer, the delegation discussed critical challenges confronting Burma with Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi and other leaders and members of civil society. The delegation also assessed grassroots programs with the goal of identifying partnership opportunities to further improve the lives of women in the country.

"Through decades of challenges, the people of Burma have developed a resilient and resourceful civil society," said Ambassador Verveer. "By supporting existing grassroots organizations, this public-private partnership with the Abbott Fund will help build the capacity of local organizations and communities to drive progress and development for women."

"During our recent trip to Burma with Ambassador Verveer, we met dozens of women who are leading local organizations, making significant contributions to address critical community needs," said Katherine Pickus, vice president, the Abbott Fund. "The Abbott Fund aims to further strengthen the capabilities of these organizations to advance health, education and economic opportunities for women – at a transformational time that holds great promise for the country's future."

The Abbott Fund's new grants follow efforts by Abbott and the Abbott Fund to provide humanitarian aid in Burma in recent years, including more than $600,000 in support for relief and recovery efforts after Cyclone Nargis. The Abbott Fund provided $250,000 to advance the work of CARE, an organization focused on empowering women, and Abbott donated $386,000 in vitamins and antibiotics to AmeriCares, Heart to Heart, Direct Relief International and MAP International.

Sec. Clinton's remarks were delivered at the first-ever Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment Policy Dialogue at the Lower Mekong Initiative (LMI) conference in Cambodia on July 12-13. The LMI is a multinational effort initiated by Secretary Clinton to foster integrated sub-regional cooperation and capacity building among Burma, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam. Sec. Clinton's remarks on the partnership can be found here, and a related State Department fact sheet can be found here.

The Abbott Fund news release can be found here.



Colin McBean
Keywords: Social Impact & Volunteering | Burma | Myanmar | Social Impact & Volunteering | abbott fund | women

CAMPAIGN: Abbott Global Citizenship

CONTENT: Article