Connect with us

Economics

Jobless Thais queue for food as pandemic hits economy

Thais are becoming increasingly desperate as the pandemic destroys the economy and the government struggles to respond.

Published

on

Lillian SUWANRUMPHA / AFP

Long lines of unemployed relying on free food across Bangkok, scrambles for cash handouts and fishing in fetid canals — Thais are getting increasingly desperate as the pandemic destroys the economy and the government struggles to respond.

Some 27 million informal workers — who lost their jobs in the tourism, entertainment, food and service sectors — have applied for a monthly cash handout from the government, though only half have received approval.

Premier Prayut Chan-O-Cha has also issued conflicting information on how long the state can afford to give people 5,000 baht ($150) a month.

A spirit of volunteerism has filled the gaps left by the state.

“The government hasn’t helped me with anything,” said Chare Kunwong, a 46-year-old masseur who caters to tourists — a revenue stream that dried up with COVID-19’s stranglehold on global travel.

He stood in line alongside hundreds on Wednesday in Bangkok’s historic quarter, waiting to receive food donations of rice, noodles, milk and curry packets.

“If I wait for the government’s aid then I’ll be dead first,” he told AFP.

An hour north of Bangkok in Pathum Thani province, a growing number of locals are fishing in a murky canal in the hopes of easing food shortages, Thai media reported.

The tanking economy has also led to Thais flocking to sell their gold jewellery, as the price for the precious metal spikes across the world.

Angry scenes have erupted at the finance ministry in recent days, as protesters demanded answers on being shut out of the government’s cash handout scheme. 

Thailand’s export- and tourism-reliant economy is forecast to see a contraction of 6.7 percent this year, its lowest GDP figure since 1998.

Photo :  Lillian SUWANRUMPHA  © Agence France-Presse
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Economics

Asia’s slow rate of vaccination is a thorn in the region’s economic recovery

Southeast Asia has been hit badly. Daily infections for Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam are at their worst, on a seven-day moving average. The Philippines and Malaysia are not far off their daily infection peaks reached in the second quarter of 2021.

Published

on

Last week was tough for the Asia-Pacific region. Many countries responded to stubbornly elevated daily infections by extending or tightening social distancing measures.

(more…)
Continue Reading

Economics

World Bank lowers Thai GDP growth outlook to 2.2%

In the Thailand Economic Monitor released today, the World Bank adjusted its outlook on Thailand’s economic growth this year to just 2.2% from its previous forecast of 3.4%.

Published

on

BANGKOK, July 15, 2021 – Thailand’s economy continues to take a heavy toll due to the COVID-19 pandemic and is projected to expand modestly at 2.2 percent in 2021, revised down from the 3.4 percent growth projected in March, according to the World Bank’s latest Thailand Economic Monitor “The Road to Recovery” published today.

(more…)
Continue Reading

Most Viewed

Subscribe via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 14,160 other subscribers

Wise

Recent