Increase access to electricity in rural Myanmar: Italy and Myanmar sign 30 million EUR soft loan
The Union Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation (MoALI) Dr. U Aung Thu, and Italian Ambassador to Myanmar Mrs. Alessandra Schiavo, along with representatives from the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS) and the World Bank, met in Nay Pyi Taw today to attend the signing ceremony of the 30 million Euro soft loan agreement as the “Italian contribution to the National Electrification Project (NEP-IT)”.
The NEP-IT, due to be implemented by the MoALI through the Department of Rural Development (DRD) with the technical assistance of AICS, will distribute sustainable Solar Home Systems (SHS) and mini-grids to the most isolated and remote villages in Chin State and its neighboring areas, identified as having the highest poverty rate in Myanmar. This is where half of the population lives without electricity and are unlikely to gain access to the national grid in the next 10 years.
The Italian funding in support to the NEP off-grid component includes an additional 1.05 million EUR to the World Bank to provide technical assistance to the Myanmar institutions for implementing the project. Current energy consumption per capita in Myanmar is among the lowest in the world: only two-thirds of the population is connected to the national electricity grid and 84 percent of rural household lack access to electricity.
The Italian intervention aligns with the Myanmar government’s National Electrification Plan, aimed at expanding electrification coverage from 40 percent to 70 percent by 2025 as first step towards the achievement of universal access to electricity by 2030 (UN SDG7).