The director of the UNDP office for Asia and the Pacific, Kanni Wignaraja, said in a statement that urban impoverishment is on track to triple in Myanmar, and could leave almost half of the population below the poverty line next year.
One of the causes is the disapearance of the middle class, which is a bad sign for the truly recovery from the crisis, she said.
Based on a survey of 1,200 households, UNDP warned that Myanmar would return to levels of deprivation not seen since 2005, before democratic reforms began.
Half of those surveyed in urban areas said they had no savings left, while about a third reported selling a motorcycle, often a family’s main means of transportation.
The United Nations added that the number of people living below the poverty line could double to 46.3 percent, while urban poverty is expected to triple by 2022 to 37.2 percent.
According to the source, the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and last February’s military coup threaten the progress achieved in the last decade.
The World Bank, which before the coup was projecting economic growth in Myanmar, now forecasts that the economy will contract by more than 18 percent this year, far more than that of its neighboring nations.