As an economically viable country with many natural resources, poverty in Thailand can be linked to uneven distribution of the country’s wealth. An estimated 30 percent of the population is barely surviving from day to day, while the wealthiest 30 percent of the society live lavishly.
Thailand’s Muslim population of approximately 2.2 million is largely concentrated in the country’s four southern provinces, which are less prosperous materially than other parts of Thailand. Poverty, meager educational opportunities and discrimination are a part of the Thai Muslim experience.
In addition, nine large refugee camps that spread along Thailand’s border with Myanmar (Burma) shelter approximately 140,000 Burmese asylum seekers, a significant portion of whom are Muslim. These asylum seekers, fleeing various forms of persecution in their home country, are in need of immediate and long-term assistance with health care, education, and securing viable livelihoods.
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