IFC in Myanmar

IFC’s work in Myanmar is focused on expanding job opportunities and alleviating poverty.

With more than half of the country’s population not connected to the national electricity grid, IFC has been focusing on empowering communities by delivering energy to rural areas through linking off-grid solar hybrid power generation and community distribution systems to telecom towers. By 2022, the pilot project is expected to deliver power to nearly 40,000 people in 25 remote villages. The World Bank Group has also been working to provide off-grid solar products through the Lighting Myanmar program to 450,000 people in rural areas. IFC has also been supporting people’s need for power through the Myingyan Independent Power Plant, which will help end regular blackouts for more than 1.5 million people. IFC also worked together with civil societies, NGOs and local officials in laying out a sustainable path and industry best practices of the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) for hydropower development in the country.

IFC paved the way in helping with many firsts with Myanmar. IFC assisted in establishing the country’s first-ever credit bureau which began its formal operations in November 2020. In September 2020, IFC helped make a faster transition towards digitization through the set-up of the Yangon Building Permit System (YBPS) making all processes completely online, significantly improving transparency and processing times. A month after, the Myanmar Agricultural Inputs Registration System (MAIRS) was launched, helping boost registration and inputs such as fertilizer and seeds by going online.

In the wake of COVID-19, IFC has not only helped small businesses navigate through these challenging times, but it has also supported its partners by regularly conducting virtual trainings on topics such as food safety handling, respectful workplaces, corporate governance, gender-based violence during COVID-19 and health impact assessments. To help improve access to finance, IFC has supported five leading microfinance institutions in the country, mobilized over 11,600 loans for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) valued at $1.5 billion, helping 600,000 people – of which more than 80 percent are women.

To support a whole World Bank Group approach to help foster peaceful communities in Myanmar, IFC applies the ‘Myanmar Peace and Inclusion Lens’ ensuring projects do not contribute to on-going or potential conflicts that strengthen exclusion dynamics.