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Switzerland suspends development aid to Myanmar

Demonstrators prepare to clash with the police during a protest in Yangon, Myanmar, on Monday Keystone / Lynn Bo Bo

Switzerland has suspended development aid for Myanmar, the foreign ministry has confirmed. Only emergency aid is being maintained, amid an intensified crackdown by the country’s military on massive protests against last month’s coup.

This content was published on March 8, 2021 - 12:04
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“All payments have been suspended,” the ministry told newspapers Le Matin DimancheExternal link and the SonntagsZeitungExternal link.

As a result, the lion’s share of this year’s budget of CHF36 million ($38.5 million) will be blocked. In addition, the ministry is reviewing 30 projects in Myanmar and is studying all options.

“It’s mainly a question of whether we maintain cooperation and, if so, to what extent is cooperation acceptable to us in order to safeguard the progress made over the past ten years while avoiding providing legitimacy to the new regime,” it told the newspapers.

Coup

The Southeast Asian country has been plunged into turmoil after the army took over control in a coup on February 1 and detained elected leaders, with daily protests that United Nations said had killed more than 50 people.

The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), the foreign ministry’s agency for international cooperation, says development policyExternal link “encompasses all political, economic and social measures to help improve living conditions in developing countries in a sustainable way”.

Over the past eight years Switzerland has supported Myanmar to the tune of CHF300 million.

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