Study: Venezuelans have lost more than 11 kilos on average in 2017

According to the survey, 87% of Venezuelan households live in poverty. Of that percentage, slightly more than half (56%) are recently and 30% chronically poor.

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Venezuela hunger
Children from the Wayuu tribes in a school in western Venezuela. Note how poor school food is: hunger in Venezuela starts worrying the international communities. (VersiĂłn Final)

A recent survey conducted by Venezuelan universities revealed the seriousness of the food crisis in the country, detailing the situation of starving Venezuelans.

Every year, the main universities of the country join together to carry out the Survey on Living Conditions (ENCOVI). This year’s results demonstrate that in the South American country, people do not live, they survive.

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The Simón Bolívar University (USB), the Central University of Venezuela (UCV) and the Andrés Bello Catholic University (UCAB) initiated this project in the absence of official data. The report focused on seven areas: poverty, food, health, education, personal security, emigration, and work.

The data of the report

In 2017 the increase in poverty, food shortages, inflation, and insecurity was undeniable, to the point of surpassing all the previous forecasts.

Two of the most damning figures are the measures of the shortage of food and its consequences. According to the survey, starving Venezuelans lost on average more than 11 kilos during 2017, something people on the street commonly refer to as “Maduro’s Diet”.

Almost 90% of respondents said that family income “is not enough” to eat and 78.6% said that in the last three months they ate less because they were not able to get food.

At a press conference, Marianela Herrera, a member of the survey’s research team, stressed that due to the inflationary rebound, the average Venezuelan changed his diet, he now “eats less or skips meals”.

Due to the economic crisis framed by a hyperinflation rate that reaches four digits, Venezuelans are not able to feed themselves. 

According to the survey, 87% of Venezuelan households live in poverty. Of that percentage, slightly more than half (56%) are recently and 30% chronically poor.

“If the same rate of impoverishment continues, year after year, the weight of chronic poverty will increase, and consequently, it will be much harder for households to get out of poverty” the report states.

It also notes that extreme poverty increased from 23.6% to 61.2% in four years, and almost 10% between only 2016 and 2017.

The crisis in Venezuela has also degraded society to the point of becoming the most violent country in Latin America. According to the survey, in 2017 1 in 5 people were victims of a crime. In addition, 43 young people died every day because of the violence.

Regime denies the crisis

Thousands of starving Venezuelans have died because they do not have the necessary medicines to comply with their treatment. Scores of children also suffer from malnutrition and are on death’s door. Millions of citizens have left the country seeking a better quality of life. But Nicolás Maduro’s regime continues to prevent international humanitarian aid, saying it would create a possible opening to “foreign intervention”.

Denying humanitarian aid anywhere in the world is a crime against humanity. In the case of starving Venezuelans, Nicolás Maduro and socialism are responsible.

“Everyone has the right to an adequate standard of living that guarantees him, as well as his family, health, well-being, and especially food, clothing, housing, medical assistance”; establishes the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, signed by Venezuela and constantly violated by the chavista regime.

The critical health situation due to the medicine shortage, food scarcity and the deplorable purchasing power of citizens has caused malnutrition to reach 4.1 million people.

Beyond the ENCOVI survey, figures from the Food Organization for the United Nations (FAO), also clearly demonstrate the extent that hunger has increased in Venezuela.

For its part, the report on the global state of food security and nutrition in 2016 detailed that hunger in Venezuela went from 10.5% to 13% in two years.

According to the FAO, this is the highest rate of malnutrition in the Venezuelan population in recent years. Undernourishment—insufficient diet due to ingested quantities or lack of nutrients— jumped from 2.8 million people between 1990 and 1992 (the year Hugo Chávez first appeared in the media after attempting a military coup) to 4.8 million people between 2014 and 2016.

While Maduro denies the crisis and refuses international humanitarian aid, a large number of desperate, starving Venezuelans have resorted to rummaging in the trash to feed themselves. At the same time, those who depend on medicines that are scarce are resigned to living their last days in agony.

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