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COVID-19, Coup D’etat and Poverty

Published on 25 July 2022


Compounding Negative Shocks and Their Impacts on Human Development in Myanmar

In this analytical exercise, we relied on the ‘bottom-up’ approach, basing our analytical exercise on the Myanmar Living Conditions Survey (2017) and using the Household Vulnerability Survey (2020) to further triangulate and validate our assumptions and estimates.

Myanmar, a least developed country, has made significant achievements in poverty reduction over the last decade. Despite such achievements, analyses of available data prior to the COVID-19 pandemic show that millions of people in Myanmar had remained vulnerable and at risk of falling into poverty in the face of a negative shock. Such vulnerabilities could create further challenges in poverty eradication efforts and lead to setbacks in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

This report presents UNDP research findings and analysis of data collected prior and during the COVID-19 pandemic in Myanmar on the socio-economic impacts of the compounded negative shocks of COVID-19 and the ongoing coup d’état. The study warns that, if unchecked, the combined effect of these two crises could push up to 12 million people into poverty. That could result in as much as 25 million people - nearly half of Myanmar’s population - living below the national poverty line by early 2022, a level of impoverishment not seen in the country since 2005. Without rapid corrective actions on economic, social, political and human rights protection policies, these scenarios will put Myanmar’s efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 well out of reach. As a dire and complex situation unfolds - characterized not only in humanitarian terms but also as a deep crisis in development, democratization, and human rights - and circumstances worsen, international support will play an important role in safeguarding the well-being of the Myanmar population.

Further Information

This report was built on in a second poverty assessment, published in November 2021, available here (Impact of the Twin Crises on Human Welfare in Myanmar).

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