Denmark to double Myanmar aid in 2012

Relations between Myanmar’s new government and donors continue to warm up, with Denmark announcing plans to double its aid to the country to 100 million Danish kroner ($17 million) this 2012.

The planned increase was unveiled by Danish Minister for Development Cooperation Christian Friis Bach during his recent visit to Myanmar. Bach’s trip came on the heels of similar visits by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and U.K. Foreign Secretary William Hague, who both made cautious promises of more aid and engagement if Maynmar’s ongoing pro-democracy reforms continue.

>> Are donors warming up to Myanmar?

Aside from the aid increase, Denmark is set to open a technical cooperation office in Myanmar “as soon as possible after the by-election on April,” The Irrawaddy reports. The office, according to Bach, will promote dialogue between Denmark and various actors in Myanmar, including the civil society, government, private sector and opposition parties.

The European Union also said earlier this month that it is set to open an office in Myanmar to oversee its aid programs in the country.

>> EU to open aid office in Myanmar

Meanwhile, the United Kingdom has revealed the amount of additional aid it is providing for livelihood projects in Myanmar — a pledge made by Hague while visiting the Asian country. Paul Whittingham, head of the Department for International Development office in the Myanmar, said his department is spending some 10 million pounds ($15 million) for microfinance projects in the states of Kachin, Chin, Rakhine and Shan and the Ayeyarwady delta, the Myanmar Times reports.

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    Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.