Families affected by unemployment following lockdown measures to halt the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus line up for food donations at Wat Bowonniwetwiharn in Bangkok on Wednesday. (AFP photo)
Bangkok saw long lines of unemployed people waiting for free food as the pandemic destroys the economy and the government struggles to respond.
Some 27 million workers — who lost their jobs in the tourism, entertainment, food and service sectors — have applied for a monthly cash handout from the government, though only half have received approval.
Premier Prayut Chan-o-cha has also issued conflicting information on how long the government can afford to give people 5,000 baht a month.
Volunteers and charity groups have been collecting and distributing food around the city.
“The government hasn’t helped me with anything,” said Chare Kunwong, a 46-year-old masseur.
He stood in line alongside hundreds on Wednesday in Bangkok, waiting to receive food donations of rice, noodles, milk and curry packets.
“If I wait for the government’s aid then I’ll be dead first,” he told AFP.
An hour north of Bangkok in Pathum Thani province, a growing number of locals are fishing in a canal in the hopes of easing food shortages, Thai media reported.
Angry scenes have erupted at the finance ministry in recent days, as protesters demanded answers on being shut out of the government’s cash handout scheme.
Thailand’s export- and tourism-reliant economy is forecast to see a contraction of 6.7% this year, its lowest GDP figures since 1998.
Source: Thanks https://www.bangkokpost.com/learning/easy/1905275/jobless-queue-for-food-in-bangkok