IMF Sent $350 Million in Cash to Myanmar Days Before Military Takeover, Report Says

On Monday, Myanmar’s military declared a one-year state of emergency after detaining State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and President Win Myint as well as other politicians during a series of raids.

Last week, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) sent $350 million in cash to the Myanmar government as part of an emergency aid package to help the country tackle the COVID-19 pandemic, an IMF spokesperson told Reuters.

The money was sent days before Myanmar’s State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and other senior figures from the governing National League for Democracy were arrested in an early morning raid on Monday in the capital Naypyitaw.

Reuters cited unnamed sources as saying that “there appears to be little the IMF can do to claw back” the emergency aid funds.

The IMF earlier expressed hope that the money would help Myanmar meet “urgent balance-of-payments needs arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, especially the government’s recovery measures to ensure macroeconomic and financial stability while supporting affected sectors and vulnerable groups”.

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