World Bank won't provide aid to lax loan repayer Myanmar
The World Bank is currently not in a position to give aid to cyclone-wracked Myanmar because the country has fallen behind in its debt repayments, Managing Director Juan Jose Daboub said on Tuesday.
Noting the country has been in arrears since 1998, Daboub said, "At this time we are not in a position of providing resources to Myanmar."
Daboub told reporters following a talk at a Singapore university that the bank's policy is not to provide funds "to countries that have fallen behind" in repayments, reported dpa.
Daboub's comments came one day after after Myanmar agreed to let the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) lead an international aid effort for cyclone-hit areas.
Damage wrought by Cyclone Nargis, which struck on May 2, is estimated by Myanmar at more than 10 billion US dollars.
During the special ASEAN conference on the emergency triggered by Myanmar's earlier refusal to allow aid and medical workers from Western countries, Singapore Foreign Minister George Yeo said there would be major roles for the World Bank and Asian Development Bank.
ASEAN Secretary-General Surin Pitsuwan had a good discussion with World Bank chief Robert Zoellick when he visited Washington recently, Yeo said, adding Zoellick issued a statement "expressing willingness to help Myanmar in its recovery effort."
Daboub said the bank is working with ASEAN in the capacity of providing technical support in assessing damage and formulating a reconstruction plan.
The cyclone has left an estimated 134,000 dead or missing.
An international aid pledging conference for all UN members will be held in Yangon on Sunday.