This picture taken on July 14, 2021 shows people waiting to fill up empty oxygen canisters outside a factory in Yangon, amid a surge in the number of COVID-19 coronavirus cases. (YE AUNG THU / AFP)
Myanmar’s COVID-19 outbreak has pushed more people into poverty, and the most vulnerable sections of the society may face “extreme deprivation” in the coming months, according to the United Nations World Food Program.
An estimated of one million jobs could be lost this year, while the country is facing rising food and fuel prices, banking issues, a weakening currency, said Stephen Anderson, country director of the United Nations World Food Program
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“We’re concerned that the cumulative impact is putting pressure on the most vulnerable segments of society,” the food agency’s Country Director Stephen Anderson said in a Bloomberg Television interview with Yvonne Man and Rishaad Salamat on Wednesday. “These are people who spend about 70 percent of their household income just to buy food and something has to give.”
Before its worst wave of outbreak this year, one of the poorest Southeast Asian nations was already reeling from the impact of the pandemic with 80 percent of the households estimated to have lost up to 50 percent of their income. The country was then hit by “additional shocks” following the military takeover in February, said Anderson.
An estimated of one million jobs could be lost this year, while the country is facing rising food and fuel prices, banking issues, a weakening currency, Anderson said. “We’re concerned that we’re going to be seeing in the coming months further pictures of people facing extreme deprivation in Myanmar.”
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