Earlier this summer, the state counsellor and minister for foreign affairs (also a Nobel Peace Prize winner) of Myanmar, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, spoke at the opening ceremony of an International Development Association (IDA) meeting held in Myanmar to spread awareness about conditions in her country.
IDA is a sector of the World Bank that aims to assist the world’s poorest nations. IDA is currently working towards a triannual replenishment initiative and Myanmar is one of the possible recipients. The recent meeting was the second of four talks about the replenishment plan in 2016.
While the meeting was held in a more urban area of the country, Suu Kyi urged attendees to consider sending aid to the rural villages of her country. According to Suu Kyi, these areas suffer from a lack of electricity, hunger, poor education, and a lack of jobs.
She told her audience, “We would like to work together with you to lift our people…out of a situation where they are dependent either on other institutions or on other people to survive. We want our people to feel that they are capable of carving out their own destiny.” While Myanmar has already received financial report from IDA, the country hopes to receive greater aid in the future.
While speaking, Suu Kyi organized her points to fit with the numerous themes of the meeting. She worked to highlight how each theme would impact the small nation. She also shared that two of the nation’s current goals include working towards national reconciliation and internal peace.
Suu Kyi does not wish to take aid away from other countries that may need it as much, if not more, than Myanmar, and acknowledges that she knows many other nations working towards development too.
She believes that Myanmar needs more material and logistical support from the IDA to address some of the current issues plaguing the country. In the words of Suu Kyi, “ending poverty is a difficult task, and we all have to join in.” Suu Kyi supports Myanmar, now it’s up to the IDA if they do too.
– Carrie Robinson