Famine Looming in Venezuela

Posted: July 5, 2016 in Uncategorized
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Food is becoming increasingly scarce in Communist Venezuela. Citizens are digging through trash, relying on tropical fruits that fall from trees, and in some cases rioting and looking in search of their next meal. More than 600 political and food-related protests took place nationwide in May alone.

The cost of food has accelerated faster than wages, which decreases purchasing power after years of policies to keep food prices low. Those policies have reduced incentive for private food production. Inflation is expected to reach 700 percent by the end of 2016.

Electricity and water are regularly cut, and nationwide productivity is hovering around 40 percent of capacity. And the government, instead of working to alleviate the crisis, is instead focused on its fight to halt a presidential recall referendum.

Even children are facing famine. Students and teachers (between 30 and 40 percent in Caracas) are skipping school to stand in line for food while the incidence of students fainting in the classroom is on the rise.
Families, domestic NGOs and others are doing what they can by sharing resources, soliciting donations from food companies still manufacturing domestically, etc. “An entire generation could suffer from stunted physical growth or mental capacities due to the severe malnutrition we’re seeing today,” said Marianella Herrera, a professor of nutrition at the Central University of Venezuela.

Slowly, over the past several months, the combination of inflation, scarcity, and low domestic production has meant a growing struggle simply to feed one’s family, says Phil Gunson, senior analyst for the International Crisis Group. “Ordinary people have not been getting enough to eat for some time, but now the situation means we’re hearing of families where one kid doesn’t eat at least one day a week, or parents go without food to give what little they have to their children,” Mr. Gunson says. “We’re not talking about just the really poor or people living under bridges. We’re talking university professors, paramedics, professionals.”

Oil buoyed up the social programs under the Chávez regime. When oil prices plunged, Venezuela was left with virtually nothing. And the political choices of the socialist government have exacerbated the situation. The government has prioritized paying off government debt instead of importation of basic necessities.

The Maduro administration has refused to acknowledge the crisis, meaning that no international or multilateral aid has been able to get into the country.

People are desperate. Up to 10 lootings occur every day across the country, from bursting through a bakery door to clear the shelves to ambushing food delivery trucks before they reach their destination.

“You can feel this tension,” says Herrera. “When you don’t have food or medicine, when babies are dying and children are fainting: People are really affected and it’s evident that time is running out.”

“And there shall be famines…” Matthew 24:7

The Ultimate DeliveranceClick on the lesson

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