Breaking down foreign aid engagement with Myanmar

By Lorenzo Piccio, Christine Dugay 15 June 2015

A fisherman uses a one-leg rowing technique at work in Inle Lake in Myanmar. Since 2011, foreign aid to Myanmar has increased dramatically. Which donors are most active in the country? Photo by: Asian Development Bank / CC BY

Encouraged by Myanmar’s transition to democracy, foreign aid donors across the board have been increasing both the scale and scope of their assistance to the Southeast Asian country.

According to Devex analysis of data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, programmable official development assistance to Myanmar has increased tenfold since 2009, reaching $3.8 billion in 2013. Counting debt relief, ODA to Myanmar in 2013 exceeded $7.6 billion.

Myanmar has recorded rapid growth in recent years — an estimated 7.7 percent in fiscal 2014 — and the country’s business climate continues to improve. The Asian Development Bank forecasts that growth will accelerate to 8.3 percent in fiscal 2015.

Programmable official development assistance to Myanmar has increased tenfold since 2009.

Despite the resource-rich country’s economic strides, Myanmar remains one of the poorest countries in the world. Recording only mixed progress toward the Millennium Development Goals, Myanmar ranked 150th out of 187 countries in the United Nations’ 2014 Human Development Index. Social indicators are especially dire in the country’s northern Rakhine State, a key factor driving the migration of thousands of Rohingya refugees.

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About the authors

Lorenzo Piccio@lorenzopiccio

Lorenzo is a contributing analyst for Devex. Previously Devex's senior analyst for development finance in Manila, he is currently an MA candidate in international economics and international development at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Washington. Lorenzo holds a bachelor's degree in government and social studies from Wesleyan University.

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Christine Dugay

Christine is a senior analyst under the Surveys and Advisory Services team of Devex. A skilled researcher, she contributes to and/or leads custom research projects and surveys commissioned by leading companies and development institutions. Christine has a professional certificate in political economy and a master’s degree in Japanese studies, and is a fellow of the Japan Foundation.

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