After military coup, foreign aid to Thailand under review

A soldier on a tank guards the Royal Palace during the 2006 coup d’etat in Thailand. Donors have raised concerns over stability and democratic process in the country, which led to some to review their development assistance to the Asian nation. Photo by: David Yttervik Seetiangtham / CC BY-NC-ND

Several of Thailand’s top foreign donors are reviewing their aid portfolios following last week’s military coup there, a move that could further threaten the country’s development progress.

Top officials from the United Nations, European Union and other international institutions have raised concerns about the country’s stability and democratic process. The United States on Saturday suspended military aid and, like the United Kingdom and Australia, among other countries, is reviewing its development assistance to Southeast Asia’s second largest economy as well.

This is not the first time that the United States has suspended aid activities in Thailand. In 2006, a military coup deposed then-Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, which led the Bush administration to hold $24 million in assistance to the country — a move mandated by law under the U.S. Foreign Assistance Act in the event of a military takeover.

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About the author

  • Lean Alfred Santos

    Lean Alfred Santos is a former Devex development reporter focusing on the development community in Asia-Pacific, including major players such as the Asian Development Bank and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. He previously covered Philippine and international business and economic news, sports and politics.