BRUSSELS (AFP) – The European Union announced Monday it will send nearly 700 million euros in aid to Myanmar over the next seven years to boost the country’s transition from army-led isolation to international player.
The announcement came after US President Barack Obama added his voice last month to concerns that the transition is backsliding in certain areas, including press freedom and human rights.
The EU said Myanmar will receive 688 million euros ($900 million) from 2014 to 2020 to “reinforce support to the country’s multiple transition”, including efforts to promote peace within the country.
Some 14 of 16 major rebel groups have signed ceasefire agreements with the quasi-civilian government as part of reforms in recent years. But deals with the Kachin Independence Army in northern Kachin state and the Ta’ang National Liberation Army in the eastern state of Shan have proved elusive.
In a statement, the European Commission, the EU executive arm, said the funds will also help develop rural areas and agriculture, improve food supplies and nutrition, support education as well as improve governance and the rule of law.