Nay Pyi Taw, 5 Feb —President U Thein Sein delivered a speech at the meeting of the Central Committee for Management of Foreign Aids and Grants held at the Presidential Place in Nay Pyi Taw on Thursday.
Also present were Vice Presidents Dr Sai Mauk Kham and U Nyan Tun, union ministers, the union attorney-general, the chairman of the Union Civil Service Board, the governor of the Central Bank of Myanmar and officials.
In his speech, President U Thein Sein said that foreign aids and grants for development should be effectively used for short-term and long-term development tasks of the country.
Although Myanmar is abundant in natural resources, they will be spent in a short time if they are not tapped systematically, the president pointed out, saying that it is necessary to promote human resource development to prevent that.
The president said that financial and technical assistance from other countries must be utilized for human resource and infrastructure development while officials at various levels are required to monitor the use of foreign aids to ensure that they are utilized in a transparent manner without abuse.
Afterwards, Union Ministers U Soe Thane and U Win Shein reported to the president on budgets for ministries and management of foreign aids respectively.
Then, Union Minister Dr Kan Zaw reported on foreign grants and loans saying that Myanmar received US$ 1,471.327 million grant out of US$ 2,954.421 million for 562 projects in construction, education, health, agriculture, vocational education, social, communication, transport, electricity, disaster risk reduction, livestock breeding, financial, sports, energy and land development sectors during the period from April 2011 to December 2014.
During the same period, Myanmar received US$ 150.734 million foreign loans out of US$ 3,852.928 million for transport, agriculture, water supply, construction, health, financial, health, communication, education and rural development sectors, according to the union minister.
The meeting concluded with remarks by the president.
In his concluding remarks, the president said that it is almost four years since the government took office in March 2011 and the government was able to promote cooperation with the international community, resulting in an influx of development loans, grants and technical assistance in various sectors.
The Myanmar Development Cooperation Forum was held two times in 2013, with the aim of creating new levels of cooperation with development partners and organizations. Arrangements are under way to organize the third forum on 7-8 February.
The Nay Pyi Taw Accord Effective Development Cooperation adopted at the first forum has witnessed more foreign assistance, but the country still needs more aid taken the proportion of sectorwise and regionwise.
Special emphasis should be put on the effective and proportional use of aid in such major projects as poverty reduction, employment and income generation, clean drinking water, electricity, agriculture, education and health.
The president stressed that careful consideration should be given not only to the outputs and outcomes of projects but also to the actual effects they can have on the socioeconomic development of the country.
He described monitoring and evaluation (M&E) as a crucial process in the implementation of development projects, especially projects that are undertaken with foreign aid.
He pointed out the need to ensure that projects implemented with foreign loans conform to national-level development projects, that they do not pose any threats to economic, social and environmental affairs, and that they are sustainably effective and efficient in the long run.
He called for speedy efforts to complete ongoing projects and new ones in the remaining tenure of the government, stressing a systematic handover of unfinished but well-started projects to those who will take charge of them. MNA