The Myanmar economy has been crumbling ever since the coup began. On finding their newly elected democratic party abruptly overthrown on February 1st, the country ground to a stop. People refused to go into work as a form of protest against the coup. With no one going into work for the past 10 months, it’s no wonder that the economy has been rapidly deteriorating. According to Asia Times, “The country’s dire economic straits is being reflected in the Myanmar currency, the kyat, which has lost more than 60% of its value since the coup. The official exchange rate on February 1 was 1,395 kyat to the US dollar but the money changers who are still operating are now asking for anywhere between 2,700 to 3,000 kyats per greenback.”
The Myanmar military is facing the financial drain of the people’s unrelenting protest. Myanmar Economic Holdings Limited and the Myanmar Economic Corporation, two of the country’s biggest conglomerates, are owned by the military. With people refusing to go into work in supermarkets, real estate, sugar, tobacco, banking, shipping, and many other jobs and industries that are connected to these conglomerates — as well as targeted international sanctions — the military is losing funding. On November 1, Myanmar military and coup leader, Min Aung Hlaing, made a televised announcement to the country. The Chindwin news records him saying, “I urge Myanmar people to reduce oil consumption and use public transportation such as trains and buses instead of using the private car to help the country’s economy.” He also told the people to stop eating rice, and instead eat meals comprised primarily of fish and beef.
The military are not the only ones facing the consequences of this protest. Asia Times reports that “The sharp depreciation [of the kyat] is driving up prices on fuel and food, with gasoline prices nearly doubled and a 48-kilogram bag of rice up 40% since the coup.” Many people are unable to pay the rent, and many others are starving. People living in Myanmar’s Dry and Delta Zones, the majority of which are farmers, have been pawning and selling their possessions in order to buy food, foreshadowing a serious food crisis. These zones are responsible for 80 percent of all of Myanmar’s food security.
The nation is going through a complicated and interconnected conflict, and everyone is suffering because of it.
1. Pray for God’s provision to be seen all across the country, declaring His glory and compassion to those in need. Pray the Lord moves the Body of Christ to support their brothers and sisters in Myanmar.
2. Pray for the salvation of Min Aung Hlaing and other powerful members of the military, and that they are transformed by the power and love of God.