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Millions to benefit from WB's $2 bn-plus scheme

Millions to benefit from WB's $2 bn-plus scheme

FRIDAY, April 24, 2015

Millions of Myanmar people are set to benefit from the World Bank's new three-year scheme designed to improve basic services in the country.

Under the Country Partnership Framework, endorsed by the World Bank Group’s board of executive directors on Thursday, up to US$1.6 billion of credits, loans and grants as well as technical assistance and knowledge from the International Development Association (IDA) will be provided between 2015-2017.
Myanmar also will receive up to $1 billion in investments and $20 million in technical assistance from the International Finance Corp (IFC). Private lenders and investors in Myanmar will also benefit from political risk insurance offered by the Bank’s Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA).
It is estimated that about 3 million pregnant women and children would benefit from improved health services, and six million people will have better access to electricity and other basic services under the scheme.
“The new Country Partnership Framework for Myanmar is based on priorities developed in close consultation and engagement with stakeholders in Myanmar,” said Ulrich Zachau, World Bank Country Director for Myanmar. “The Framework focuses on reducing rural poverty, providing basic services, and stimulating the private sector in an inclusive manner, so that especially the poor and vulnerable share in the benefits of reform. We look forward to working in partnership with the government, investors and civil society groups for the prosperity of the people of Myanmar.”
 “Myanmar’s priority is to advance development and cut poverty in our country,” said Myanmar Finance Minister Win Shein. “Financing and innovative ideas from the World Bank Group can help create jobs, end poverty by 2030 and build Myanmar through growth that reaches everyone in Myanmar, especially the poorest people.”
The CPF is the World Bank Group’s first full strategic framework for Myanmar since 1984. Drawn up on extensive consultations with a wide range of stakeholders and lessons learned since the institution began re-engagement in Myanmar in 2012, the framework seeks to help Myanmar’s development plans in three main areas.
To reduce poverty, in the next three years, 3.5 million people will gain new or better access to electricity, with an additional 2.5 million people benefiting from improved rural infrastructure and access to public services.
To strengthen education and public health, the government’s goal to achieve universal healthcare access by 2030 will be assisted. In addition, 30,000 students will receive stipends to stay in school.
To stimulate job creation, World Bank’s support aims to increase the number of people, micro-enterprises, and small and medium enterprises using financial services by 200,000, and to facilitate financing of up to $40 million by 2017. It also aims to help the government mobilise $150 million in private investment by creating a business environment conducive to private sector investment.