YANGON Jan 27 The World Bank on Monday warned
Myanmar against corruption as it unveiled a $2-billion aid
package designed to provide better health care and improve
supplies of electricity.
Despite the country's ongoing reforms, the World Bank has
ranked Myanmar 182 out of the 189 countries in its annual Doing
World Bank president Jim Yong Kim told reporters in the
Myanmar capital, Naypyitaw, that he recalled shutting down a
program in Bangladesh on his first day on the job in 2012,
because of corruption concerns.
"I would not hesitate to do that again if we were to find
evidence of corruption in any of the projects," he said, adding
that he was confident the Bank would be able to monitor programs
in Myanmar to prevent abuse.
About 75 percent of Myanmar's mostly rural population has no
access to health care, and more than 70 percent have no
electricity, the Bank said.
Part of the aid package will support the government's aim of
providing health care to all citizens by 2030, while half will
go to expand electricity generation, transmission and
distribution, the Bank said in a statement.
The news comes nearly two years after the World Bank
announced it would return to Myanmar following an absence of a
quarter of a century.
Many donors abandoned the country during its 49 years of
military rule, which eviscerated one of Southeast Asia's most
In February 2012, the Bank said it would re-engage with
Myanmar after a March 2011 transfer of power from the military
to a semi-civilian government that kicked off sweeping political
and economic reforms.
In January 2013, Japan helped Myanmar's government clear
debts left unpaid by the previous ruling junta, allowing the
World Bank and the Asian Development Bank to provide financing.
Myanmar's low score on the Doing Business survey last
October was due to corruption, Charles Schneider, a World Bank
economist based in Yangon, said at the time, though he added the
country was improving transparency.
(Additional reporting by Aye Win Myint in NAYPYITAW; Editing by