▲ More than 4.7 million Venezuelans have left the country—one reason is the lack of affordable, nutritious food. Fourteen percent of children under five years old monitored by the relief agency Caritas Venezuela are showing signs of acute malnutrition. © Weeklymonday
Venezuela, a country that reached the 4th highest GDP in the world just a half century ago, has been suffering from an extreme financial crisis for the last 2 years. A number of citizens of Venezuela are having difficulties finding a job, food, and even a place to live in. In the meantime, the UN has made a decision to supply food aid to Venezuela.
In the outskirts of Caracas, the capital city of Venezuela, homeless people are reportedly staying around a cemetery. According to the UK newspaper Dailymail, those people are building houses there and frequently plundering the tombs in the cemetery. What is worse, it is said that young children are learning how to beg instead of getting a proper education, and their family, mostly alcoholic, are leaving the children abandoned. In the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, these people are the most vulnerable to be infected with the virus. More than 5.3 million Venezuelans have already left their homeland amid the bitter economic crisis. Truly, Venezuela has encountered the worst disaster ever.
The poverty of the country with abundant oil reserves is due to the recent serious economic crisis. Venezuela’s economic failure is the sum of impractical price and foreign exchange control, nationalization, reckless inflation, poor economic control policies, as well as sanctions from the United States.
Donald Trump, former president of the US, has put strong sanctions on Venezuela in order to put pressure on the regime of Nicolás Maduro, president of Venezuela. All these factors have led Venezuela to plunge to the 1940s-level economic situation.
Meanwhile, the United Nations’ World Food Programme (WFP) has fortunately agreed with the Maduro government to provide food for Venezuelan students. According to the WFP’s announcement last year, one in three Venezuelans was unable to meet the minimum nutrition requirements and it concluded that Venezuela needed aid.
A nationwide survey of 8,000 Venezuelans shows that many families are living on nothing but soybean crops without any other diverse foodstuffs. Last year, the WFP included Venezuela in the top four countries suffering from food insecurity. Doctors also reported that the infant mortality of Venezuela has been increasing due to severe malnutrition.
The World Food Program plans to open an office in Venezuela to provide daily meals for 1.5 million students by the end of 2023.