Since 2016, Denmark has provided around DKK 250 million in development aid to Myanmar, and in 2020 alone, the Danish state gave DKK 23 million to the Myanmar government.
The recent military coup in the country has however been met with international condemnation by the world’s political leaders and Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofoed took to Twitter with the following statement, “I strongly condemn the development in Myanmar. I call on all parties to respect the outcome of a democratic election and to seek peaceful dialogue. Civilian leaders and politicians must be released. Military under civilian control is the key to a democracy.”
In addition to the public statement, Denmark is sending a strong message to the Myanmar military by announcing its withdrawal of aid to the Myanmar government. According to Flemming Møller Mortensen, Minister of Development, Denmark can not support the military coup and will react by stopping all development activities that go through the Myanmar government. The Minister explains that this however does not mean that all development aid to Myanmar will be withdrawn and says to DR, “We continue to support all the other initiatives that precisely support democracy and a development of society.”
Andreas Kiaby, general manager of DanChurchAid’s operations in Myanmar agrees with Denmark’s reaction but emphasizes the importance of staying in Myanmar. He explains that it is a wise decision to withdraw support for the Myanmar government so the military does not receive any funding but says however that the most important thing right now is that the West does not withdraw from Myanmar. He explains that the biggest threat to the Myanmar military is that we will stay in the country, and says “It is more important than ever that we in the West do not threaten to withdraw from Myanmar, but on the contrary, we threaten to stay. We must insist that the military recognize the election result”.