Switzerland temporarily suspends aid payments to Myanmar

Protesters in Yangon demonstrating against the military takeover. Keystone

Switzerland has decided to suspend all further payments related to development cooperation in Myanmar following the recent military coup. However, programmes already underway in the Asian country will continue. 

This content was published on February 18, 2021 - 14:21

The objective of the temporary halt of payments is to allow time for a thorough analysis of where the money is ending up.  

"We are checking whether and which of our projects should be suspended because they benefit the military government or are managed by it," Tim Enderlin, the Swiss ambassador in Myanmar, told public broadcaster RTS on Thursday. 

The protection of human rights in particular must continue to play an essential role when it comes to development aid, said the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA). The FDFA added that it is too early to give a detailed answer on the future of Switzerland's financial commitment to the country. For now, the suspension of payments "in no way means the suspension of the cooperation programme in Myanmar itself, nor of Switzerland's commitment in the country", said Enderlin. 

Earlier this month Myanmar's military seized power in a coup against the democratically elected government of Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, who was reportedly detained along with other leaders of her National League for Democracy (NLD) party. 

The army said it had carried out the detentions and imposed a one-year state of emergency in response to "election fraud", according to a statement on a military-owned television station. 

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