Myanmar’s middle class shrinks by 50% as 42 million face poverty: UNDP report


- Photo: Eleven Media File

YANGON: Myanmar's middle class has shrunk by 50 per cent over the past three years, while 42 million people are now facing poverty and hardship, according to a report released by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on Monday (June 24).

The UNDP report states that approximately 75% of Myanmar's population, or around 42 million people, are facing poverty and are at risk of severe poverty, with 13.3 million people suffering from food insecurity.

Additionally, from 2020 to 2022, development aid to Myanmar through the United Nations decreased by over 40%, while humanitarian response programmes also faced funding shortages, as highlighted in the UNDP report.

However, the UNDP has assisted over two million people and aims to reach eight million people by the end of 2025, according to the report.

Furthermore, due to the complex political situation in Myanmar, the UNDP has adapted its approach to include cash assistance, support for local farmers in the agricultural sector, and efforts to address immediate needs through reconstruction projects.

The UNDP report also notes that efforts to address food security and poverty are being carried out in collaboration with domestic organisations and international partners, through community-led initiatives.

On June 12, the World Bank released a report indicating that at the beginning of 2024, 32% of Myanmar's population was living in poverty, a return to the conditions seen in 2015.

Moreover, the report suggests that the remaining two-thirds of the population is at high risk of falling into poverty, with the depth and severity of poverty rapidly approaching the levels seen in 2015.

Currently, the World Bank reports that the number of people living in poverty in Myanmar has increased by seven million compared to the period before the Covid-19 pandemic. - Eleven Media/ANN

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