Millions in Myanmar struggle to buy food as coup price hike bites

The Myanmar economy and banking system have been paralyzed since a military power-grab pushed civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi out of office in February.

Livelihoods have been lost after strikes and factory closures, fuel prices have shot up and those lucky enough to have bank savings face day-long queues to withdraw their cash.

Venturing out in public to earn a living has also become a safety hazard against the backdrop of an indiscriminate and brutal crackdown on dissent that has killed more than 800 civilians.

In a country which in normal times exports rice, beans and fruit, millions will go hungry in the coming months, the World Food Program has warned. Price hikes have hit remote areas particularly hard — near the Chinese border in Kachin state, rice is almost 50% more expensive, according to the WFP.

The cost of transporting produce from farms to cities has also jumped after an estimated 30% fuel price hike since the coup.

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