Myanmar military takeover threatens country’s development: World Bank

WASHINGTON: The World Bank on Monday (Feb 1) mentioned it was gravely involved concerning the current situation in Myanmar and a military takeover of energy, warning the occasions risked a significant setback to the nation’s transition and its growth prospects.

“We are concerned about the safety and security of people in Myanmar, including our staff and partners, and are troubled by the shutdown of communications channels both within Myanmar and with the outside world,” the Bank mentioned in an announcement issued late on Monday.

Myanmar’s military on Monday handed energy to military chief General Min Aung Hlaing and imposed a year-long state of emergency, saying it had responded to what it known as election fraud.

READ: Myanmar military seizes power, declares state of emergency for one year

READ: All eyes on Myanmar army chief Min Aung Hlaing as military seizes power

The transfer sparked condemnation from Western leaders and a risk of renewed sanctions by the US authorities, and raised questions concerning the outlook for one million Rohingya refugees.

The World Bank mentioned it had been a dedicated associate in supporting Myanmar’s transition to democracy for the previous decade, in addition to its efforts to realize broad-based sustainable progress and elevated social inclusion.

“We remain committed to these goals. Our thoughts are with the people of Myanmar,” the assertion mentioned.

The Bank’s web site lists US$900 million in World Bank lending commitments to Myanmar in 2020, and US$616 million in 2017.

READ: Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other senior party figures detained by army

Explainer: Crisis in Myanmar after army alleges election fraud

It cited what it known as measurable enhancements in social welfare for the reason that nation’s opening in 2011, with poverty falling to 25 per cent in 2017 from 48 per cent in 2005.

Reform momentum slowed after 2016 as a newly elected civilian authorities grappled with defining its financial imaginative and prescient, the Bank, though it mentioned the federal government had lately adopted an bold sustainable growth plan and reinvigorated its financial reform agenda.

Economic progress was slated to drop to simply 0.5 per cent in fiscal yr 2019/20 from 6.8 per cent a yr earlier, the Bank mentioned, though it mentioned the financial system may contract as a lot as 2.5 per cent if the COVID-19 pandemic was protracted. 

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