USAID redirects $42.4m funds to Myanmar civil society

Diplomatic Correspondent

13 February, 2021 12:00 AM printer

USAID redirects $42.4m funds to Myanmar civil society

In response to the recent coup, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) has said it is redirecting $42.2 million of assistance away from work that would have benefited Myanmar’s government after conducting a review of its programmes following the coup in the country.

“Rather than supporting the military, we will redirect these funds to support and strengthen civil society,” said the USAID in a statement, adding that it will continue to support the people of Myanmar with approximately $69 million in bilateral programmes.

However, the USAID will continue its support to the people of Burma with approximately $69 million in bilateral programmes, said USAID Acting Administrator Gloria Steele in a press statement on Thursday.

She also said the USAID will continue working to maintain and improve the health of the people of Burma, including by combating Covid-19, and strengthen the ability of civil society to guard democratic space, foster food security, support independent media, and promote peace and reconciliation in conflict-affected regions.

“USAID’s support to the people of Burma is more important than ever as we collectively work toward a more democratic, accountable, and inclusive society,” Gloria added.

In her statement, she further said the United States will also continue to provide life-saving humanitarian assistance to Rohingya and other vulnerable populations including in Chin, Kachin, Rakhine, and Shan states, as well as the region.

“We are the largest donor to the Burma (Myanmar) and Bangladesh regional crisis humanitarian response.”

In FY 2020, the United States provided more than $469 million in humanitarian assistance, bringing the US total contribution since the most recent outbreak of violence in August 2017 to nearly $1.2 billion for those affected within Burma as well as refugees in Bangladesh and throughout the region, said the USAID official.