UNICEF Social Inclusion, Policy and Budgeting

Economic Shocks and Vulnerable in Thailand: A Case Study of Rising Food and Fuel Prices

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AUTHOR Somchai Jitsuchon and Ammar Siamwalla
ORGANIZATION UNICEF
TYPE Field Examples
DATE 2009
TOPIC Economic crisis and recovery
LANGUAGE English
ABSTRACT

In times of economic turbulent where a large number of population subgroups are subject to unavoidable negative economic shocks, there is an urgent need to have in place a comprehensive policy framework and implementation capability to help mitigate the impacts.  Since 2007, the world economy has been going through a series of economic abnormalities, starting from rapidly rising food and fuel prices, the subprime and credit crunch originating in the United States and then the subsequent global recession that is perhaps the most severe one since the Great Depression.  Thailand is unfortunately among the economies that are considerably affected, as its dependence on imported fuels as major source of energy and on exports as major source of national income are both increasing.  And although Thailand is a world leader in rice and other foods, significant fraction of its poor population live on farming, for example, about 40 percent of Thai poor lives on rice-farming.  Their livelihood, and hence the country’s poverty situation, is therefore affected by fluctuating movement in rice price.  The fluctuation in fuel price in 2008 was even greater. 


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