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World Bank Group to provide US $2 billion for projects in Myanmar

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5 February 2014 – Yangon, Myanmar and Washington, DC, USA – On a visit to Myanmar on 26 January, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim announced plans for a US$2 billion multi-year development program to help the country. It will include projects that dramatically improve access to energy and health care for poor people and support other key government development priorities.

140205-pmwj20-$2billion-IMAGEHe announced the major increase in new financial support at a community health clinic in Yangon where he was joined by the Myanmar Minister of Health, Dr. Pe Thet Khin. They met doctors, local residents, and members of the international donor community and Kim pledged the funding will help improve the lives of the poorest people and support ongoing reforms in Myanmar. (Photo courtesy of World Bank)

“We are increasing our support for the huge reform effort underway in Myanmar because we want to help the government bring benefits to poor people even more quickly,” said President Kim. “Our US$2 billion dollar multi-year program will support the government’s plans to deliver universal health care to citizens and to help everyone in the country gain access to electricity by 2030.”

The World Bank Group will harness expertise and resources from IDA, IFC and MIGA to support the government’s multi-year investment program. This will include US$1 billion in Bank Group financial support to expand electricity generation, transmission and distribution. Over 70 percent of Myanmar’s people do not have access to reliable electricity.

The energy investment will also support development of a National Electrification Plan, enhance institutional capacity, and promote regulatory reforms that are critical for sustainable private sector participation. It will include support for private sector investments in power generation and distribution, as well as the scale-up of renewable energy for rural and off-grid electrification.

“Expanding access to electricity in a country like Myanmar can help transform a society – children will be able to study at night, shops will stay open, and health clinics will have lights and energy to power life-saving technology. Electricity helps brings an end to poverty,” said Kim.

IFC is partnering with the Government of Myanmar to increase efficiency in the electricity distribution sector and extend service to a greater number of end users.  The World Bank Group will also pursue investments to support transparent, cost-effective private investments, and public-private joint ventures for large new power stations. Kim said the investment will include US$200 million in IDA funding to help Myanmar achieve universal health coverage by 2030. Together with financing previously committed by other international development partners, the IDA financing will help Myanmar scale up access to quality, essential health services for women and children through results-based financing, and remove out-of-pocket payments as a barrier to health care for the poorest people.

“Everyone should have access to affordable, quality health services, and no one should be forced into poverty trying to pay for the health care they need,” he said. “The Myanmar government’s ambitious plan for universal coverage by 2030 will help ensure that every Myanmar citizen has the opportunity to live a healthy, productive life.”

An estimated 75 percent of Myanmar’s mostly rural population lacks access to quality health care, and high costs place most essential services out of reach for many Myanmar families who live below the poverty line.

The World Bank Group is one of the world’s largest sources of funding and knowledge for developing countries. It comprises five closely associated institutions: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA), which together form the World Bank; the International Finance Corporation (IFC); the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA); and the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). Each institution plays a distinct role in the mission to fight poverty and improve living standards for people in the developing world. For more information, please visit www.ifc.org, www.worldbank.org, and www.miga.org.

Since 1947, the World Bank has provided financing for more than 11,000 projects in over 100 countries.  To learn more about past and current IBRD projects, visit http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/PROJECTS/0,,contentMDK:21790401~menuPK:5119395~pagePK:41367~piPK:51533~theSitePK:40941,00.html

Source: The World Bank