MYANMAR: Fishermen struggle to pay back loans

PYAPON, 19 December 2008 (IRIN) – Fishermen hit by Cyclone Nargis are struggling to pay back government loans meant to jumpstart their livelihoods.

While the loans have helped, more assistance will be needed to sustain them for the long term, they said.

“I’m not sure whether I will be able to make the payments in time,” Mya Win Maung said from his home in Pyapon, in Ayeyarwady Delta.

In July, he received a US$800 loan from the Livestock and Fisheries Development Bank to repair his 30ft vessel at an interest rate of 1.42 percent per month for one year.

“Within six to nine months we have to pay back half the loan,” the 56-year-old, one of 1,288 fishermen who qualified under the scheme, explained. continue

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