Myanmar political standoff leaves economy in tatters

 Myanmar political standoff leaves economy in tatters

The military takeover in Myanmar has set its economy back years, if not decades, as political unrest and violence disrupt banking, trade and livelihoods and millions slide deeper into poverty.

The Southeast Asian country was already in recession when the pandemic took hold in 2020, paralyzing its lucrative tourism sector. Political upheavals after the army ousted its civilian government on Feb. 1 have heaped further misery on its 62 million people, who are paying sharply higher prices for food and other necessities as the value of the kyat, the national currency, plummets.

With no end to the political impasse in sight, the outlook for the economy is murky.

U.N. humanitarian chief Martin Griffiths appealed last week to Myanmar’s military leaders to allow unimpeded access to more than 3 million people needing “life-saving” aid “because of growing conflict and insecurity, COVID-19 and a failing economy.”

Griffiths said he was…

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