This week, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, state counsellor and minister for foreign affairs of Myanmar, and Nobel Peace Prize-winner, asked donor and borrower governments gathered for a meeting of IDA, the World Bank’s fund for the poorest, to consider the villages of Myanmar in their discussions: “Villages that sink into darkness after sundown because there is not enough electricity. Villages where our children suffer from malnutrition and lack of education. Villages which are depleted of their young men who have gone abroad, to try and find work.”
“Ending poverty is a difficult task, and we all have to join in,” she said.
IDA’s triennial replenishment, this year known as IDA18, is under way and will continue through the end of 2016. This week’s meeting in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar, is the second of four meetings scheduled this year where donor and borrower government representatives will discuss the impact of and need for IDA support across five themes – gender equality; climate change; fragility, conflict and violence; jobs and economic transformation; and governance and institution building.
Suu Kyi said the themes for IDA18 might have been tailor-made for her country. “We would like to work together with you to lift our people…out of a situation where they are dependent either on other institutions or on other people to survive. We want our people to feel that they are capable of carving out their own destiny.”
Myanmar is one of 77 countries currently receiving support from IDA. An estimated 3 million people in 5,000 villages across Myanmar are benefiting from grants that enable communities to improve basic infrastructure, including schools, health centers and village roads.
IDA is the largest source of concessional finance for the world’s poorest countries, committing an average of $19 billion a year over the past three years. From FY11-15, IDA financing helped recruit and train more than 5 million teachers, provided 50 million people with access to better water services, helped more than 400 million people receive essential health services, and immunized more than 200 million children.
Read the full transcript of Aung San Suu Kyi’s remarks here.
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