The International Development Committee has released its final recommendations for the future of the UK Government’s support to Myanmar, following a six month consultation where Malaria Consortium gave both written and oral evidence.
The headline message is that the UK Department for International Development’s (DFID) Myanmar 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.
In terms of health, the largest element in DFID’s budget in Myanmar, the IDC has recommended that there should be a greater emphasis on addressing drug resistant malaria in Burma but has also welcomed the UK’s existing funding towards strengthening the health system in the country.
Drug resistant malaria in Myanmar is of international importance. If it is not tackled it would have a devastating impact on the ability to treat malaria elsewhere, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. Addressing this issue in Myanmar should be a high priority. The IDC has recommended that surveillance be stepped up in Myanmar, in particular in the border areas and amongst the migrant population.
Giving evidence to the IDC in December 2013, Mr Nelson said:
"Myanmar has a huge contribution to make to the world. If drug resistant parasites get out of the Southeast Asia region then that could be an absolute disaster for Africa and there is a contribution to be made by Myanmar to the global fight against that happening. Investment that allows them to have the surveillance necessary to do that and the health programmes in place that responds appropriately to the finding of resistant parasites must not be missed right now.”
Read Malaria Consortium’s full written submission here.
Watch the full evidence session below or on Parliament TV, here. The section on malaria begins at 10:55:00.
Read more about Malaria Consortium’s work in Myanmar here.