ADB suspends funding for projects in Myanmar after military coup

Kyodo News

Posted at Mar 11 2021 05:37 PM

ADB suspends funding for projects in Myanmar after military coup 1
Protester run from police during a protest against the military coup in Yangon, Myanmar, March 8, 2021. Reuters/Stringer

MANILA - The Asian Development Bank has temporarily suspended funding for government projects in Myanmar following last month's military coup in the Southeast Asian country.

"As the international community assesses the evolving situation, ADB has placed a temporary hold on sovereign project disbursements and new contracts in Myanmar effective 1 February 2021, consistent with our internal guidelines," the multilateral bank said in a statement on Wednesday.

The ADB said it "remains deeply concerned" about the situation in the country, particularly the lives lost during protests as security forces used violence to quell them. "We will continue to consult with shareholders and other stakeholders," it added.

The latest move by the ADB puts in question the fate of hundreds of millions of dollars in infrastructure projects the bank is supporting in Myanmar, including a project to improve rural roads.

The ADB committed loans and grants totaling $2.4 billion for Myanmar between 2013 and 2019. Cumulative loan and grant disbursements by the ADB to Myanmar amount to at least $1.51 billion.

Alleging widespread voter fraud in last year's general election, Myanmar's military ousted the country's elected government led by Aung San Suu Kyi. She and other prominent political figures remain in detention.

The coup sparked a wave of protests among Myanmar people, but security forces have increasingly resorted to violence to quell them. At least 54 people have been killed in protests as of March 4, with over 1,700 people placed under arbitrary arrest and detention, according to the U.N. human rights office.

==Kyodo

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