World Bank pledges $2bn to Myanmar

YANGON - The World Bank is giving Myanmar a US$2 billion (64 billion baht) development package to help improve the energy sector and deliver universal health care in the former military-run nation.

Jim Yong Kim, the bank's president who making his first visit to Myanmar, says the goal is to lift people out of poverty.

He noted that three-quarters of the country's 60 million people do not have access to secure electricity or quality health care.

Myanmar, which began its transition to democracy just three years ago, stopped payments on its old loans in 1987, forcing the World Bank to shut its offices in Yangon.

Its debts were cleared last year, with help from Japan, paving the way for the resumption of lending needed to help upgrade the country's dilapidated infrastructure.

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