Yangon: The World Bank says it is prepared to resume assistance to Myanmar after a hiatus of 25 years. It`s ready to provide USD 85 million in grants for development while also helping to clear almost USD 400 million in arrears from old loans.
World Bank Vice President for East Asia and Pacific Pamela Cox announced the grants in Yangon today as she opened a new World Bank Group office.
She said they could begin by October if the bank`s board approves.
Cox and a colleague from the affiliated International Finance Corporation met with President Thein Sein and opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi this week.
It was the first visit by senior bank officials since the country began undertaking political and economic reforms last year after decades of repressive military rule.
Myanmar`s military junta handed power last year to a nominally civilian government that has surprised the world with a series of political and economic reforms, including releasing prominent political prisoners and allowing Suu Kyi to contest recent parliamentary by-elections.