The Second Wave: Thailand's Economic Struggle was generously supported by and produced for Art Works Projects .
The full project can be viewed here .
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Thailand was ranked 6th globally in pandemic preparedness according to a report by the Global Health Security Index, and they have lived up to that statistic in terms of controlling the spread of the virus. Yet Thailand now faces a new disaster: the crippling economic impact of the pandemic on their most vulnerable citizens.
In ‘The Second Wave: Thailand's Economic Struggle’ we explore the life saving donations and medical aid provided by volunteer groups in Bangkok throughout the lockdown period. We meet parents who struggle to feed their families, informal workers who have seen their incomes vanish, and unemployed homeless Thai’s who share their struggles and fears as they attempt to navigate the “new normal.”
The economic impact of the pandemic and subsequent lockdown has been far reaching and severe. With businesses shut and incoming travel bans putting the international tourism industry on hold (15% of the Thai GDP), the unemployment rate in Thailand soared to nearly 10%, up from just .7% in 2019. By June, the poverty rate had doubled to 9.7 million. While the government implemented a stimulus package allocating $158 (5,000 Thai Baht) a month for three months to help alleviate the effects of unemployment, many found it to be insufficient, and anxiety and fear flourished with no return to normality in sight. For many, the hard work and dedication of volunteer groups within their communities continues to be a ray of hope.