The EU seeks to ensure coherence between actions supported by bilateral programmes and projects financed under thematic or regional instruments. These instruments often offer an opportunity to provide targeted support to thematic areas such as human rights, civil society, capacity building or environmental protection. They also provide the means to intervene in geographical areas where other initiatives would have difficulties operating, thereby allowing particularly vulnerable populations in conflict-affected areas to benefit from EU support. This complementarity also balances support to government services and support to non-government, complementary services, notably in ethnic controlled territories. The EU Delegation to Myanmar is closely working with the EU Delegation in Bangkok on projects dealing with the protracted situation of IDPs and refugees based in the Thai border, funded through the Aid to Uprooted People budget.
The EU assistance programme is being carried out in a highly complex environment of transition and reforms, marked by conflict in several ethnic areas as well as deep ethnic and religious tensions. Initially, much of the EU's development assistance in Myanmar was channelled and implemented through civil society organisations, NGOs and UN agencies, in collaboration with local partners wherever possible, using multi donor trust funds and a project approach. As Myanmar continues to open up, the EU is increasingly working with larger scale programmes implemented by EU member states' agencies. The EU's relationship with Myanmar's authorities also evolves regarding the development cooperation modalities, increasingly considering instruments such as blending and working more and more through available systems and institutions within the country to ensure sustainability and effectiveness of aid provided.
In the light of progress with the political transition and the growing presence of other international donors, it is also crucial to ensure high quality and efficient delivery of aid programmes and projects. The EU will play a key role in addressing the challenge of donor complementarity – particularly between EU member states through a joint programming process – to ensure that the existing coordination architecture continues to provide effective aid management. The EU also supported the setting up of an effective Aid Information Management System (AIMS), replicated globally and recognised as the 1st ‘International Aid Transparency Initiative-native’.