As of the CNN reports, Myanmar’s majority of population is now facing problems with its struggle in poverty. This same condition is expected by the end of the year to hike more as the country teeters on the brink of economic collapse is caused by the double shock of a bloody military cop and at the same time even the covid -19 pandemic situations. There are a lot of issues being seen moving ahead simultaneously with it, these are like rising costs of food, significant losses of income and wages, crumbling of basic services like banking and health care as well as the inadequate social safety net which is like a push of millions into vulnerable conditions to the people below the poverty line of $ 1.10 a day including children, women as being most hard hitted.

With reports from analysis from the UN Development program (UNDP) that was published on Thursday, it has warned that if the security and economic situation does not get stabilized sooner, then up to 25 million people among the 48% of Myanmar’s population could be living in poverty by the end of 2022. But the same level of impoverishment is not been seen in Myanmar since 2005. It was when the country was isolated, pariah nation ruled by the previous military regime as being said. The UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner said clear we are contending with a tragedy unfolding. There are fractured supply chains , disrupted movement of people and movement of goods and services, the banking system essentially suspended, remittances that is not being able to reach people, social safety payments that would have been available to the poorer households that is not being paid out. These are just some of the immediate impacts. The protracted political crisis that will obviously worsen the situation further.

Even Myanmar had made some solid progress in reducing the poverty. This was particularly taken into account with the start of democratic transition from military rule around 2011 which prompted economic and political reforms.

Over the time period of past 15 years, the country is effectively halved with its poverty rate from 48.2%in 2005 to 24.8%in 2017. This is being set according to the report. It’s still considered one of the poorest countries in Asia. However it’s being estimated being the third among the population which is subsisting on such a low or precarious income. It was one economic shock away from being thrown back into the line of poverty.

For many ways, that would shock in the form of the global corona virus pandemic. There are lockdowns and containment measures disrupted supply chains. So even the businesses like retail manufacturing and exports as well as the smaller businesses, market sellers, hair dressers and tailors who suffered. By the last year month of December, there are more than 420,000 migrant workers who had returned home. And by the end of the year, 83% of the households in Myanmar reported their incomes that had been slashed by half due to pandemic as per the reports.

But there was more shocking news in the morning of February 1st, when the armed forces commander in chief seized power, overthrowing the democratically elected government of Aung san suu kyi and her national league for democracy party and then installing a military junta.

With the following months have seen ongoing protests against his rule and the rise of civil disobedience movement in which there were thousands of blue and white collar workers including doctors, teachers, civil servants and factory workers who have went on strike with the aim of disrupting the economic condition and unseating the general.

The security forces have been brutally suppressed with the protests with deadly and systematic crackdowns. In this the police and soldiers have shot dead people in the streets and arbitrarily detained perceived opponents. There are more than 750 people who are being killed by the security forces since the coup and more than 4,500 being arrested. This report is being set as per the advocacy group assistance association of political prisoners.

The compounding economic crises of the pandemic and military take over with the risk completely wiping out the progress Myanmar that have made in reducing the poverty. The number of people in poverty in the country is likely to get doubled next year.

Now the impact of the pandemic alone would have raised the poverty of Myanmar’s level from 24.8% to 36.1% as per the UNDP estimate. If the massive economic and social disruption of the coup is probable to continue, that increases further to 48.2%.

By then the shock from the crisis will have been resulted in significant losses of wages and income, these are particularly from the small businesses and drop in access to food, basic services and social protections as being reported.

Further the urban poverty is expected to triple as the towns and cities have been hardest hit by covid-19 and thus remain focused on most severe military crackdowns. According to the study, there are lots of women and children who will bear the heaviest brunt. The Myanmar is already into higher cases of child poverty rates and combined crises that are putting an entire generation into peril. This report is exclusively being delivered by the UN Children’s fund. Rising poverty means children are less likely to stay in the school and the loss of key services in the education and health care. This would further lead to profound physical psychological education and economic impacts.

It seems women led households are more vulnerable. As women are quite higher to be employed in the sector affected by the corona virus. These are likely the garment industry. And the women disproportionally bear the burden of the house hold chores associated with the COVID-19, Such as the caring for the sick or the home schooling children. This has forced many to drop out from school and move towards the labor market.  Both the crises are not independent of one another. The overthrow of the civilian government has already amplified the impact of the corona virus

Topics #covid -19 pandemic