Yangon, Myanmar (4E) – In an attempt to support Myanmar’s economical and political reforms, the World Bank (WB) on Wednesday offered a grant of $85 million to help the debt-ridden Southeast Asian country.
WB President Jim Yong Kim, in a statement, said that the world lending body is committed at eradicating poverty in the former military-ruled nation.
With the opening of a new office in Myanmar, Kim hoped that the some of poorest people in East Asia would now be able to access aid. “They have been cut off from the global economy for too long and it’s very important that they receive real benefits from the government’s reforms,” he added.
The WB had ended its Yangon program nearly 25 years ago after Burma, as the country formerly known as, had stopped making payments on its debt to the bank.
Myanmar owes $400 million to the World Bank. The authorities had long been trying to find a solution on dealing with the unpaid money. The issue is now resolved as the Bank agreed to provide a bridging loan to Myanmar to help it clear its arrears.
“We are not forgiving the debt. We are just clearing the back interest payments. Then they’ll start repaying it again,” Pamela Cox, the World Bank Vice President for East Asia and the Pacific, said.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) had also reopened its office in the impoverished nation recently.
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