Renewed attacks mar Myanmar's aid forum

Featured - January 22nd, 2013
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Myanmar hosted its first gathering of international aid donors in the capital city on Sunday amid reports that the country’s military had flouted a unilateral ceasefire with rebels in the northern Kachin state, a move that could dent the government’s ambitious reform agenda.

The military announced on Friday it would halt offensive attacks on the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) but rebels claimed renewed fighting persisted near the Kachin headquarters at Laiza, close to the Chinese border, marring the country’s first comprehensive aid and development forum.

Around 600 participants, including representatives from more than 55 countries, aid organizations and Myanmar government and business leaders, attended the forum in Naypyidaw where President Thein Sein promoted a “people-centered” approach to boost economic growth and living standards.

International donors pledged aid for the country’s reform agenda and economic growth. Donors did not discuss specific amounts of future aid programmes but participants said Myanmar would receive between $400m and $500m a year in international aid from bilateral donors such as Japan, the EU and the US as well as international organizations such as the World Bank and Asian Development Bank.

Creditor countries are preparing for a meeting in Paris to help resolve Myanmar’s $11 billion-plus debt overhang, reports the Financial Times.