Yangon’s poor queue for palm oil amid import restrictions

The junta’s efforts to slow the flow of foreign currency out of the country have resulted in rapidly rising prices, hitting the poor especially hard

As Myanmar’s post-coup economy continues to deteriorate, residents of the country’s largest city are facing increasing difficulty acquiring basic foodstuffs such as palm oil.

Due to import restrictions put in place by the regime to prevent dollars from leaving the country, the price of the staple item has risen dramatically in recent months, reaching 12,000 kyat, or US$3.70, per viss (approximately 1.6 kg).

However, limited qualities can be purchased at half that price at ration shops set up in some of the city’s poorest neighbourhoods.

In many townships across Yangon, low-income people can now been seen queuing up early in the morning to buy palm oil sold at subsidised prices, evoking memories of the country’s era of socialist rule under dictator Ne Win. . .

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