Conflicts & War

Inequality rises in Myanmar as economy slowly recovers

Bangkok, Jun 27 (EFE).- The Myanmar economy “stabilized” during the first half of 2023 and expects growth of 3 percent this year, the World Bank said Tuesday, warning about the increase in inequality and deterioration of food security in the country.

“While Myanmar is again making economic progress, the growth is unequal and the poorest are being hit hard by consecutive shocks,” said Mariam Sherman, the agency’s director for Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos, in a statement.

Myanmar, which like the rest of the countries suffered a severe blow from the Covid-19 pandemic, is in a deep political, social and economic crisis as a result of the military coup in February 2021 and which has led to an internal armed conflict.

Despite the economic growth forecast for this year, the country still finds itself with around 10 percent less than the 2019 GDP.

It is expected to maintain growth for the “next one or two years,” but this will be affected by high inflation, which is about 14 percent and puts “food security” in the nation at risk.

“Worryingly, progress against malnutrition seems to have halted or reversed. More than half of households have been forced to sell assets, increase borrowing, or limit their spending, including on health and education,” Sherman said.

The World Bank also spoke of the “risks” on the prospects posed by a hypothetical worsening of the internal conflict and the country’s vulnerability to natural disasters, recalling the havoc caused in May by Cyclone Mocha. EFE


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