A Mess in Asia


Figures from UN agencies suggest that the Asian economic crisis has pushed upwards of 100 million people into poverty (defined as less than one dollar per day per person).

In Indonesia, as much as half the population, or 100 million people, are now unable to buy 2,100 calories of food a day per person, which experts say is the minimum requirement for an Asian diet. This is an increase of 60 million to 80 million from a year ago. In Thailand, 10 percent of the 60 million population has slipped into poverty since the baht was devalued in July 1997. Urban unemployment has grown to 3 million. In South Korea, unemployment has reached 7.6 percent, with 8 percent seen as the point at which social unrest becomes likely.

—Intelligence Digest