December 27, 2022
BANGKOK – The report on Thailand’s poverty situation in 2021, which was released this year, said that the number of people living below the poverty line had dropped from 4.7 million in 2020 to 4.4 million last year.
“This is all thanks to the government’s economic stimulus measures to ease the financial burden on poor people, such as measures to increase purchasing power and utility bill cuts,” NESDC said.
However, NESDC found that poverty from other dimensions other than just income in Thailand is far more severe.
Citing its Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) which identifies four dimensions of poverty, namely education, health, quality of living and financial stability, it said 8.1 million Thais are suffering from poverty.
“As many as 36.9% of them are the elderly, while 51.5% are those who do not contribute to the economy, like children, the mentally ill, the ill or the unemployed,” NESDC said.
In the education sector, it said, more children have dropped out of school, especially those who are not living with their parents.
More than 280,000 students have been recorded as having dropped out of school last year due to poverty, the report said.
In terms of health, it said poor people suffer from the lack of access to clean water and nutrition, adding that people’s access to basic utilities is still limited, especially in remote areas.
When it comes to quality of living, it said 2.8 million people do not have access to the internet as signals do not reach all locations and many people are not able to pay internet fees.
When it comes to financial security, the report said many workers do not have access to social security and their earnings are not enough to make ends meet.
This has resulted in rising debts and problems with saving money, it said.
To solve these issues, NESDC has advised the government to improve information systems and launch policies to boost people’s quality of life.
“Government agencies should come up with policy packages that solve multidimensional poverty, such as improving financial literacy among people,” it added.