Asian Insider Ep 78: An insider’s view of the magnitude of the Myanmar crisis
Synopsis: Each month, The Straits Times’ US bureau chief Nirmal Ghosh presents an Asian perspective of the week’s global talking points with expert guests.
Myanmar’s military, also known as the Tatmadaw, overthrew Myanmar’s elected government in a coup on Feb 1. It was met with widespread mass protests. Since then, the country’s economy has crashed. Myanmar’s currency – the kyat – has plunged badly driving up food and fuel prices.
In this episode, Nirmal Ghosh hosts Andrew Kirkwood, acting interim UN resident coordinator/humanitarian coordinator for Myanmar in Naypyidaw, on the current humanitarian situation inside Myanmar.
They discuss the following points:
1. Why nearly half the population is now living below the poverty line, an estimate not seen in over 20 years (3:57)
2. Which regions need critical emergency assistance (5:07)
3. Why more humanitarian funding assistance can still be put to good use and what the international and donor community should know about the situation (8:11)
4. Has there been no real addressing of Myanmar’s economic growth and underlying structural issues, even before this year’s coup? (10:00)
5. In a largely agrarian economy, this translates to farmers squeezed by a doubling in transportation costs, thousands of female garment workers losing jobs, with construction at a standstill, and restaurants mostly closed (11:46)
6. Mr Kirkwood’s instincts about the future direction of Myanmar, after having lived there for the past 20 years (15:09)
Produced by: Nirmal Ghosh ([email protected]) and Ernest Luis
Edited by: Fa’izah Sani and Hadyu Rahim
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