The countries of the East Asia and Pacific region have been deeply affected by the worst global economic and financial crisis in generations. According to the latest East Asia & Pacific Update, weaker growth is expected to slow the pace of poverty reduction in the region, with over 10 million more people likely to stay below the poverty line this year compared to estimates of a year ago. Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand and Timor-Leste are projected to see absolute increases in poverty this year.
The people highlighted below put a face to the numbers. They talk about how life has changed since the beginning of the financial crisis, and what they worry about—or hope for—the future.