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IFC to help improve hydropower standards in Myanmar

Yeywa Hydropower Station undertaken by Energy China is currently the largest hydropower station in Myanmar. Photo: Energy China

The World Bank's IFC has signed an advisory services agreement with the government of Myanmar to help improve environmental and social risk management in hydropower projects reported on 6 October.

With IFC's support, Myanmar's Ministry of Electric Power and Ministry of Environmental Conservation and Forestry will develop much-needed technical guidelines to address environmental and social risks in hydropower projects. Myanmar has recently approved a new electricity law and is finalizing the procedures for environmental impact assessment.

As part of the cooperation agreement, IFC and the government will commission a country-wide strategic environmental assessment of the hydropower sector. IFC will also provide policy guidance and training on other important areas, such as environmental flows management, benefit-sharing arrangements, and stakeholder engagement.

In Myanmar, 34 million people, or about 66% of its population, do not have access to electricity. To address this constraint, the government has set a target of increasing the electrification rate to 50% by 2020.

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