Roundup: Myanmar benefits from World Bank projects
by Feng Yingqiu
YANGON, June 1 (Xinhua)-- Myanmar is benefiting from World Bank- supported national community development project worth of 86.3 million U. S. dollars which is being implemented to help improve rural infrastructure and people's living.
According to the Department of Rural Development of Myanmar, the six-year project, which started in March, will initially cover three townships, Kanpetlet in Chin State, Namhsam (Palaung self- administered zone) in Shan State and Kyunsu in Taninthayi Region during the first year.
During the second year of its operation, the project will benefit people in four more selected townships, Pinlebu, Sedoktara, Laymyethna and An in Sagaing, Magway, Ayeyawaddy and Rakhine regions or states respectively.
According to the World Bank, five more townships will be added in the second year and seven in the third year of the project.
Over the next two years, 15 townships out of 330 will benefit from the project.
The first year of its operation dealt with a wide range of areas, including inter-urban roads and highways, water, sanitation and flood protection, irrigation and drainage, health and education.
In subsequent years, local people will choose the type of public infrastructure they wish to build or upgrade.
In addition to the rural infrastructure development project, the World Bank also supported Myanmar's education project from which 8.2 million students are also benefiting.
More than 100,000 poor students will receive financial support to attend classes through the Decentralizing Funding to Schools Project, the World Bank said.
The project financed by a 80 million U.S.dollars credit from the International Development Association (IDA) and 20 million U.S. dollars from the government of Australia through the Myanmar Partnership Multi-Donor Trust Fund, will improve and expand the Myanmar Government's School Grants Program and Student Stipends Program.
The project provides direct support to the Ministry of Education to expand funding for the national schools grants program that benefits all schools under the Ministry of Education, and a student stipends program focusing on 40 townships.
The project will also contribute to important longer-term goals in Myanmar's education sector.
World Bank Country Manager in Myanmar said, "Improving access to quality education and focusing on the most disadvantaged and poor children in remote areas of the country, is essential to reducing poverty and development of the country."
The World Bank has carried out a Public Expenditure and Fiduciary Assessment and is currently working on a multi-year public expenditure review, focusing on the health and education sectors.