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Debate: Myanmar’s development challenges

September 30, 2014 - 09:00-17:00

Myanmar (previously Burma) has opened up rapidly from a closed military dictatorship to a country of investment, trade, tourism and aid opportunities. Despite rapid changes, most of the estimated 51 million people still live in rural areas with rather simple living conditions. Years of civil wars have left many border areas uninhabited and hundreds of thousands have escaped the country as refugees. Peace is not yet assured in all regions of Myanmar. The country can thus be considered as a fragile state.
The Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs (MFA) is now preparing the Myanmar country strategy for the Finnish development cooperation. Many other donor countries and the EU have already poured aid support in Myanmar. How to work in a fragile state, which now faces increasing and conflicting interests coming from different directions? Why Finland should get involved, and how Finland’s official development assistance (ODA) plans relate to those of other EU countries? Is the prevalent development model needed or desirable in Myanmar? Are there possibilities for a good living without building another consumerist society?
Abilis Foundation, Siemenpuu Foundation, Finnish Disabled People’s International Development Association (FIDIDA), Finn Church Aid, Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Mission (FELM), Finnish Refugee Council (FRC) and Kepa are together organizing the day on Myanmar’s development challenges.
The day of consists of a 4.5-hr seminar and a 2.5-hr workshop. The seminar (9 am-1:30 pm) is open for all interested people, including NGOs, civil servants, academics, media and general public. Short presentations on different issues give food for thought for the panel discussion on the Finnish ODA’s role and civil society actors’ work in Myanmar.
The afternoon workshop (2:30-5 pm) is mostly for NGOs/CSOs for sharing knowledge and experiences on Myanmar and discussing possible joint strategies for the Finnish civil society actors working in Myanmar.
Venue: Eurooppasali, Voimatalo, Malminkatu 16, Helsinki

Debate: Myanmar’s development challenges


September 30, 2014