Venezuela’s economic and humanitarian crisis

Monday, 24 April 2017 08:33
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by Valeria Aghilarre (EPOS)
EPOS Notepad


Venezuela is living a harsh humanitarian crisis, caused by shortages of medicines and food. The health care sector, as the Human Rights Watch reported, presents dangerous shortages of basic medicines that are necessary for functional public hospitals. In some cases, citizens should buy medications by themselves, but 85% of medicines in 2016 were not available or difficult to find, as the Venezuelan Federation of Pharmacies estimated, that represent an increase regarding to 2014 when the percentage was lower (60 %). Ministry of Health reported that maternal and infant mortality rates had dreadful increase; 73.1 maternal deaths for every 100.000 births in 2009, opposed to 130.7 between January and March 2016. Even infant mortality rate of 2016 is higher than 2015; it passed from 15.4 to 18.61 deaths per 1,000 live births.

Moreover, the lack of nourishment has become really serious; citizens have two or fewer meals per day (11.3% in 2015 rising to 32.5% in 2016) and the percentage of malnourished is growing fast.The fourth year of recession does not show any sign of improvement, data shows that 81% of the population lives in poverty but the government does not have enough money to import goods. Nevertheless, this shortage of funds was caused by the mismanagement, corruption and no powerful investments in oil fields. Venezuela indeed has the largest oil reserves in the entire world, which constitute the 90% of the country’s export but the price tag of the oil is too low for give a help to the economic situation.

The President Nicolas Maduro elected on 14th April 2013, is considered by local medias and the opposition, one of the principal causes of the crisis. Even if the government had announced some policies to improve the production of goods as medicines and food, those initiatives do not alleviate the humanitarian crisis. The political arena does not help the country in solving the situation, Maduro is governing with the support and the help of the Supreme Court, that on 30th March 2017 accused the Parliament of insulting the President. For this reason, the National Assembly, composed for the most part by the opposition, was divested. The result is that Maduro has obtained free hand, going to worsen the situation.

Venezuela has no simple solution to solve the situation, the economic crisis is strictly connected with Maduro’s policies choices, and involve also the dramatic situation in which the population is living. Even if citizens are opposed to the presidential power, Maduro is moving forward thanks to the military support, banning the opposition’s freedom of speech and protest.


DISCLAIMER: The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect EPOS WorldView’s

Last modified on Monday, 24 April 2017 08:43
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