The U.S. Treasury Department announced on Tuesday that it will ease the financial sanctions on Myanmar in order to allow the American non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to operate in the country.
The U.S. government will drop financial sanctions on Americans whose activities are aimed at meeting basic human needs and promoting democracy in the Southeast Asian country, according to Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control.
To be specific, the activities exempted from sanctions, which are typically carried out by the NGOs, include health, education, good governance and certain non-commercial development initiatives, said the department.
"These were our action for action, if you will, in response to what we viewed as very positive parliamentary elections," State Department spokesman Mark Toner said in his comment on the announcement.
"I think you'll see more steps as we implement what we laid out on April 4. You'll see additional steps," he told reporters.
On April 4, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced that Washington will ease its financial and investment restrictions on Myanmar, following the landmark parliamentary by- election in the country.
She also said that the United States was expected to nominate an ambassador to Myanmar very soon, to establish an in-country USAID mission and to support a normal country program for the UN Development Program.
Tuesday's decision by the Treasury Department signaled Washington's first step to loosen its wide-ranging and longtime sanctions on Myanmar.
Myanmar held its historic parliamentary by-election on April 1, in which the opposition party led by Aung San Suu Kyi secured big gains, winning 43 of 45 parliamentary seats available.