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OIL AND GAS
After energy warning, Myanmar gets EU assistance
by Daniel J. Graeber
Washington DC (UPI) May 15, 2017


More than $13 million in humanitarian assistance is on hand for Myanmar, the EU said, one week after a warning that energy security threatened its development.

The European Union put $13.1 million forward to address humanitarian issues in Myanmar. Christos Stylianides, the European commissioner for humanitarian aid, said after a visit to the conflict-torn northern state of Rakhine that food insecurity was an emerging concern.

"Our humanitarian partners are helping government authorities develop a food security and nutrition strategy for this region, but we still need better humanitarian access in order to facilitate a quick and full response by aid agencies to assist all affected communities," he said in a statement.

In April, Myanmar received a $200 million credit from the World Bank to help promote the country's financial strength. The nation's economy suffered in 2016 and, although growth is expected in the coming years, the World Bank said assistance was necessary to offset the strains of poverty.

During a forum last week with global delegates, including officials from the Asian Development Bank, Aung Thu, the country's minister for agriculture, said only 30 percent of the rural population in Myanmar have access to a reliable source of energy. Without that, he said, job opportunities and family incomes were under threat.

The European Union estimates more than a half million people in Myanmar are in need of some sort of humanitarian assistance.

Sanctions pressures on Myanmar eased after general elections eased military rule in 2010, giving foreign investors more opportunities in the once-isolated country. Last year, Australian energy company Woodside said Myanmar was a central part of its plans to deliver 2.4 billion barrels of oil equivalent in growth projects over the next decade.

OIL AND GAS
Opposition in Venezuela in desperate plea to military
Caracas (AFP) May 14, 2017
Venezuela's opposition Sunday urged the armed forces to consider dialogue, despite its loyalty to embattled President Nicolas Maduro in the country's deadly political crisis. "I am appealing to Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez to open the doors of a sincere debate in the armed forces," said Julio Borges, the speaker of the National Assembly, the only opposition-led government body. ... read more

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