Asian Development Bank to Halt Funding for Myanmar Government Projects

By The Irrawaddy 12 March 2021

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has announced that it will put on hold funding for Myanmar government development projects following the military regime’s Feb. 1 coup.

ADB is one of Myanmar’s biggest development partners. Its decision to halt funding comes as at least 70 civilians have been killed by the security forces, as the junta continues its ongoing crackdown against peaceful protests calling for the reinstatement of the civilian government.

In a statement the ADB said that it remains “deeply concerned about recent developments in Myanmar, especially the loss of life during civil protests.” The bank stated that the change in the country’s circumstances will have a serious impact on Myanmar’s economic and social development.

The bank has put “a temporary hold on sovereign project disbursements and new contracts in Myanmar”, while the international community assesses the evolving situation. The projects affected range from transport and energy, to education and information technology.

“We will continue to consult with shareholders and other stakeholders,” said the ADB.

Between 2013 and 2019, the ADB supported Myanmar with more than US$3.5 billion in funding for projects including loans, grants and technical assistance commitments.

Under the latest loans agreement, the ADB approved a US$484 million loan in November to construct a new expressway connecting Bago Region and Mon State. Both areas lie along Japan’s planned East-West Economic Corridor, a grand infrastructure scheme for the Greater Mekong Subregion.

In late February, the World Bank notified the military regime that it had suspended disbursements for at least 24 ongoing development projects in Myanmar.

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