Nay Pyi Taw, July 10, 2018 – World Bank Vice President for East Asia and Pacific, Ms. Victoria Kwakwa, concluded a three-day visit to Myanmar to assess progress and discuss future support for peace, social inclusion and economic transition. During her visit, Vice President Kwakwa met with a range of senior Government officials, diplomats, development partners and other stakeholders in Nay Pyi Taw and Yangon.
In her meeting with State Counsellor H.E. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the World Bank Vice President commended the Government on preparation of the Myanmar Sustainable Development Plan, especially the inclusion of a pillar on Peace and Stability. The State Counsellor and the World Bank Vice President emphasized the importance of achieving peace and security as a foundation for inclusive and sustainable development for all communities in Myanmar. Ms. Kwakwa pledged to align World Bank technical and financial support to this vision for Myanmar’s future.
Discussion focused on priorities for programming the Bank’s concessional financial support for Myanmar over the next two years, and how this could be used to support peace and social inclusion, including support to enhance the welfare of all communities in Rakhine State and put in place the conditions for safe, voluntary and dignified repatriation of refugees.
On the eve of the third Panglong Peace Conference, the World Bank Vice President had an opportunity to discuss with the State Counsellor prospects for durable peace throughout Myanmar. Following the meeting, Ms. Kwakwa announced preparation of a Peaceful and Prosperous Communities Program tentatively estimated at $200-250 million in concessional financing in its first phase—will empower communities that pursue a peaceful path to create economic opportunities and employment, as well as improve basic services and infrastructure at local levels.
“The World Bank remains a strong partner in supporting Myanmar’s development.” said Ms. Kwakwa. “Through new engagements like the ‘Peaceful and Prosperous Communities Program’, we want to support a greater focus on inclusion and economic opportunities for all in conflict-affected areas, including in Rakhine State”
The State Counsellor and Ms. Kwakwa also discussed recent progress in responding to the situation in Rakhine State, including Government’s signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with UNHCR and UNDP and publishing of a progress report on implementation of the recommendations of the Advisory Commission on Rakhine State. The Vice President noted the urgent need to begin implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding. She offered World Bank support, in collaboration with the UN and other partners, to put in place the conditions for safe, voluntary and dignified return of refugees and for further progress to improve the welfare of all communities in Rakhine State. Following the meeting, the Vice President announced preparation of a $100 million World Bank-financed project for Rakhine Recovery and Development, with a focus on job creation, micro- and small-enterprise development and access to essential services for all communities, including returning refugees.
The World Bank Group is an important development partner in Myanmar with a combined public and private-sector portfolio of around $3.3 billion aimed at enhancing the quality of basic health and education services, increasing access to electricity and telecommunications, improving agricultural productivity and creating a more dynamic private sector.