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Published on Thursday, 24 January 2013 15:51
The unemployment rate in Myanmar is about 37 percent while more than one-quarter of the country’s 60 million people live in dire poverty, according to the Lower House’s planning and finance development committee.
The committee made public portions of the first-ever nationwide survey of income and employment, following a discussion of it at the Lower House last week.
The committee’s chairman, MP Soe Tha, said the study showed how necessary it was for the government to focus on poverty reduction, and that it also identified where in the country people’s needs were greatest.
The study collected data on food, clothing and shelter at households in every state and region of the union.
Although Soe Tha did not say what criteria were used to set the poverty line, the MP said the study found the highest rates in Chin State (73 percent), Rakhine State (44 percent) and Shan State (33 percent). The poverty rate was also above the national average of 26 percent in Ayeyawady Region (32 percent), Magway Region (27 percent) and Mandalay Region (27 percent). In Yangon the household poverty rate is 16 percent, the survey found.
Soe Tha said the survey showed that the government needed to focus on reducing poverty and that it provided impetus for the government’s poverty reduction plan, which it planned to implement in 2015 or 2016.
The poverty rates corresponded to unemployment rates, the MP said, noting that they exceeded the national average of 37 percent in every state and two regions.
The survey underscored the need to create more jobs and where the need is most acute, Soe Tha said. Increasing employment leads to higher income and better lives, he said.