Since 2010 there have been remarkable changes in Burma. The UK Government considers that there is now a great opportunity to transform the lives of poor people in the country and DFID believes that British aid can now achieve a greater impact. Nevertheless, despite the political progress so far Burma remains one of the poorest countries in Asia. The country is off track to reach many of the Millennium Development Goals and suffers from poor health, including amongst the highest rates of malaria, malnutrition (especially amongst children) and tuberculosis in the world. Underlying ethnic tensions have the potential to undermine the reform process.
The International Development Committee has now concluded the inquiry into Democracy and Development in Burma. The Report concluded that the UK Department for International Development’s Burma budget should be increased promptly from £60 million to £100 million to enable greater support for education, including teacher training, the peace process and parliamentary strengthening.