Money without value

The rapid deterioration of the Myanmar kyat and the corresponding rise in commodity prices leaves Yangon residents struggling to eat and pay rent

Yangon’s scorching May sun shows no mercy to day labourers like Zin Thu*, who works long shifts as a bicycle delivery driver to make just a few dollars a day to feed his family. 

At 30 years old, he works two shifts, from 7am until noon, and from 3pm until 7pm to make an average of 20,000 kyat per day, the value of which is officially equivalent to more than US$9. However, according to local exchange rates, the selling price of one dollar in the Yangon market reached 4,130 kyat on Friday, putting Zin Thu’s income realistically at around $5.  

“Money is continuously losing its value,” Zin Thu said. “I am not able to save my daily earnings because it all goes into food expenses for my family.”

Myanmar’s currency has depreciated by 17 percent since December 2023 alone, and. . .

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