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Myanmar to Receive $2B in COVID-19 Relief from Int’l Development Organizations


YANGON—Myanmar is set to receive around US$2 billion from international development organizations to implement its COVID-19 Economic Relief Plan (CERP), which seeks to mitigate the economic impacts of the global pandemic.

Deputy Minister of Planning, Finance and Industry U Set Aung wrote on Facebook that at least four or five international development organizations, as yet unnamed, have already committed to support Myanmar’s economic relief plan.

U Set Aung said that the government is currently calculating how much of the budget for the plan will come from foreign aid and how much will come from budget re-allocation.

Launched by the Myanmar government in late April, the relief plan aims to help the country recover from the economic and social impacts of the global pandemic. The CERP includes a number of strategies and responses, including steps to re-allocate 10 percent of the 2019-20 budget for all government entities to the COVID-19 response fund.

According to the international organizations, Myanmar needs to spend US$2-3 billion to implement its action plans.

“At present, the country’s external debt to GDP ratio is less than 15 percent, and it is appropriate to take concessional loans,” U Set Aung said.

“At this time, [the country] does not want to reduce government spending, which is one of the major components of GDP. But government spending should be used effectively. The CERP will provide policy to direct current government spending,” the deputy minister said.

The Ministry of Planning, Finance and Industry (MOPFI) and the Ministry of Investment and Foreign Economic Relation (MIFER) organized a video conference last week to coordinate the views of international development partners. At the meeting, all development partners supported the CERP and agreed to provide assistance, according to the minister.