UN Warns of Poverty in Myanmar by 2022

The United Nations said nearly half of the population in Myanmar is expected to live below the poverty line early next year, at which point poverty in urban areas would have tripled since the crisis began.

“A slide into the poverty of this scale could mean the disappearance of the middle class – a bad omen for any rapid recovery from the crisis,” Director of the UNDP Bureau for Asia and the Pacific Kanni Wignaraja said.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Global Humanitarian Overview 2022 on Myanmar, attributed the combined effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the military takeover to the downward spiral of the country, which has effectively wiped out “gains made since 2005.” 

“The outlook for 2022 remains dire, with the key drivers of need – conflict, COVID-19, economic stress, and statelessness – all continuing to negatively affect the population. The political and security situation is expected to remain volatile, with increased displacement anticipated,” the report added.

The fourth wave of COVID-19 would be a significant risk in 2022, and associated restrictions would impact the general trend of price hikes of basic food items and agricultural products, reducing, even more, the affordability of food.

The joint intersectoral analysis process has identified 14.4 million people in humanitarian need in Myanmar in 2022.

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