For Immediate Release
Monday, November 19, 2012
USAID Press Office

Washington DC – During his visit to Burma, President Barack Obama announced a joint US-Burma partnership to advance democratic reform, and lay the groundwork for a peaceful and prosperous future for Burma.  The President also announced $170 million dollars over the next two years to support this effort.

The Partnership aims to strengthen democracy, human rights and rule of law; promote transparent governance; advance peace and reconciliation; meet humanitarian needs; and provide economic development that can improve the health and livelihoods of the people of Burma.

In line with the Partnership, the U.S. and Burma will affirm a joint statement of principles in support of the democratic transition and develop a joint action plan prioritizing key areas.  Additionally, the Government of Burma has indicated its commitment to join the Open Government Partnership, a global effort to make governments more transparent, effective, and accountable; and announced a Joint Plan on Trafficking in Persons.

USAID has and will continue to play a substantive role in advancing the goals of the Partnership through current and planned activities and initiatives, focused on democracy, human rights and governance; peace and reconciliation; food security; and global health.  For example, USAID has partnered with Michigan State University and the Myanmar Development Resource Institute, a local organization, to bring a team of internationally recognized food security experts to Burma to assess the challenges and opportunities for reducing hunger and poverty.

USAID is also introducing two public private partnerships: Survive and Thrive and Helping Babies Breathe, which provide evidence-based training and high quality affordable resuscitation devices to save the lives of children who have breathing problems during birth – a leading cause of preventable childhood mortality.  Specifically, USAID will engage Johnson and Johnson, Laerdal, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of Nurse Midwives and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists to peer associations in Burma to build capacity in service delivery for priority health interventions.

During the visit, President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton also dedicated the opening of USAID’s mission in Burma.  This is the first time in the Agency’s history that an American president has dedicated a mission.  They were joined by U.S. Ambassador Derek J. Mitchell, USAID Assistant Administrator for the Asia Bureau Nisha Biswal, USAID/Burma Mission Director Christopher Milligan, and USAID Deputy Assistant Administrator for the Asia Bureau Greg Beck.

In April 2012, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton announced the re-opening of the Burma mission, and in August, Christopher Milligan was sworn in as mission director.  Milligan is the first mission director to serve in Burma since USAID re-established its mission there in July 2012 after a 23-year hiatus.

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Related Administrator
Nisha Biswal
Related Bureau or Independent Office
Bureau for Asia
Last updated: November 19, 2012