World Bank Nixes Loan to Burmese Junta

Military government 'in arrears' on earlier debts; aid still scarce
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted May 20, 2008 10:54 AM CDT
World Bank Nixes Loan to Burmese Junta
Victims of Cyclone Nargis walking past destroyed villages in the Lat Put Tar region of the Irrawaddy delta in Myanmar.   (AP Photo/HO, Mandalay Gazette, HO)

As Burma looks for loans to cover an estimated for $10 billion worth of damage from Cyclone Nargis, the World Bank won't be among the lenders, the Telegraph reports. The junta has been in debt to the bank for more than a decade, and the bank is legally barred from making another loan, says its managing director.

The World Bank does plan to consult with the UN and ASEAN—the Southeast Asian regional body that the junta has allowed to coordinate limited foreign aid—on planning for economic reconstruction. More than two weeks after the disaster, as the nation observes three days of official mourning for the more than 200,000 dead, only about 20 percent of the 2.5 million cyclone survivors have received any aid at all, the Telegraph reports. (More Burma stories.)

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