Report: 80 Percent of Venezuelans Short of Food
Following a trip to the Venezuelan border with Brazil by a team of health experts from John Hopkins University, researchers found that malnutrition continues to rise aggressively, with 80 percent of households unable to access enough food and rates of malnutrition among five years now over the World Health Organization’s crisis limit. In 2017, the average person lost around 11 kilos (24 pounds). In 2016, that number was 19 pounds; it is expected to have risen in 2018.
Combined with chronic malnutrition, the report also points to the scale of the collapse of the country’s health system, with practically every major health condition ranging from tuberculosis to malaria reaching crisis levels. For example, the number of malaria cases has risen from 36,000 in 2009 to 406,000 in 2017, while 87 percent of HIV patients now do not receive their necessary drugs.
As well as the humanitarian disaster, the country is also seeing a complete collapse of most of its institutions, infrastructure, and public services. Nowadays, essential products and resources including water, electricity, transportation, gasoline, and toiletries are all in scarce supply, with regular blackouts across major towns and cities.
Many leading figures are calling for a humanitarian or military-based intervention to end the crisis, although all relevant powers have so far pulled back the idea.
The regime continues to deny the existence of a crisis. Maduro recently declared at the United Nations General Assembly that his country is “stronger than ever” and blamed any visible difficulties on the supposed “economic war” led by the United States.
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