Bloomberg News

U.S. Eases Restriction on IMF, World Bank Assistance in Myanmar

February 07, 2012

Feb. 7 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. moved to support financial experts from the International Monetary Fund and World Bank to assist Myanmar in rebuilding its economy as it rewards the former military dictatorship for taking steps toward democracy.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton signed a partial waiver yesterday to lift the restrictions on global financial institutions imposed under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, according to a statement. It will allow the U.S. to support assessment missions and limited technical assistance provided by the IMF and World Bank, it said.

“Assessments by international financial institutions will provide critical means to gain a greater understanding of Burma’s economic situation, particularly its severe poverty alleviation needs and capacity gaps,” the State Department said in the statement, referring to the country by its former name.

Myanmar was listed last year among nations that do not comply with minimum standards in combating human trafficking in an annual State Department report along with 22 other countries including North Korea, Iran and Yemen. Under U.S. law, the president can determine to withhold aid and development assistance to the worst offenders.

President Barack Obama delegated that authority to Clinton on Feb. 3, according to the State Department statement.

--Editor: Tony Jordan

To contact the reporter on this story: Daniel Ten Kate in Bangkok at dtenkate@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Peter Hirschberg at phirschberg@bloomberg.net


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