Millions of Poor People in Myanmar to Gain Access to Electricity

September 16, 2015

World Bank approves $400 million credit to support Government’s National Electrification Plan

WASHINGTON D.C, September 16, 2015 — The Government of Myanmar will accelerate the expansion of the country’s national electricity grid and build off-grid power solutions in rural areas with support from the World Bank—contributing to the country’s ambitious goal of universal access to electricity by 2030.

The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved today a $400 million interest-free credit from the International Development Association (IDA), the Bank’s fund for the poorest countries, to provide financing and technical assistance for Myanmar’s National Electrification Plan (NEP). In Myanmar, where over 70% of the people have no access to electricity, bringing light to towns and villages is an urgent priority in helping people out of poverty and in powering a rapidly growing economy.

As part of the World Bank’s Country Partnership Framework, we are increasing our support for Myanmar’s National Electrification Plan because we want to help Myanmar bring the benefits of electricity to its people quickly,” said World Bank Southeast Asia Country Director Ulrich Zachau“This $400 million project will help connect towns to the grid and turn on lights in schools, clinics and remote villages. We welcome and support Myanmar’s goal to achieve universal access to electricity by 2030.”

The project is expected to benefit over 6.2 million people by bringing electricity to more than 1.2 million households in Myanmar through 2021. It will expand the existing electricity grid by adding medium- and low-voltage distribution networks, giving more towns and homes access to grid-based electricity. It will also include off-grid electrification systems such as solar systems and mini-grids to bring electricity to rural communities far from the national grid.

The National Electrification Plan will transform Myanmar by giving the people of our towns and villages access to more job opportunities, better health care and lighting for classrooms,” said U Aung Than Oo, Deputy Minister of Ministry of Electric Power of Government of Myanmar. “The Government of Myanmar is now accelerating its work to expand the grid and to bring power to rural areas -- with the critical support from the World Bank.”

Over the course of the six-year project, the World Bank financing will also provide grid connections for 23,000 schools, clinics and community centers, and 132,000 street lights will be turned on, opening village markets after dark and improving safety.

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