World

Another perverse face of Chavismo: 1/3 of Venezuelan children up to 5 years of age suffer from malnutrition

Children are among the main victims of the economic disaster promoted by Chavismo in Venezuela. Recent reports indicate that child malnutrition is a registered problem in all regions of the country, with the Covid pandemic aggravating the humanitarian crisis under the regime of Nicolás Maduro.

A survey carried out by Caritas Venezuela, whose report was released last month, showed that in 2021 one third of children under five in the locations where the survey was carried out presented cases of acute malnutrition or was at risk of reaching this situation.

The cases were detected in the parishes of the dioceses of Caracas, San Fernando de Apure, Guasdualito, Ciudad Bolívar, Puerto Cabello, Los Teques, Acarigua, Machiques and Merida. According to Caritas, cases of acute malnutrition (moderate and severe) were recorded among 10, 1% of the children in this age group evaluated.

The entity highlighted that this level already exceeds the 10% that the World Health Organization (WHO) considers to establish that a locality faces a public health crisis.

The Caritas report also pointed out that 22% of the children evaluated were at risk of being malnourished short-term acute. “Together, the records reveal that a third of the children in the evaluated parishes are at nutritional risk or with nutritional damage already installed”, pointed out the entity.

Another recent report, published in March by the International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH) and the NGO Provea, highlighted data from 2020 which indicated that 30% of Venezuelan children under five years old had delays in growth, a reflection of years of nutritional deficit in this age group.

In its study, Caritas pointed out that more than 25% of children children under six months showed delay in growth, which also reflects problems of maternal malnutrition.

The FIDH and Provea mentioned that, in six years, Venezuela suffered a retraction of more than 80% of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP), “which represents one of the deepest economic contractions outside the context of armed conflicts”.

There was also the influence of hyperinflation, which in a period of more than three years showed an average rate of 50% per month; in 2019, the interannual index reached 39.113%.

“The result of these economic conditions was the development of a complex humanitarian emergency characterized by staggering numbers of poverty, food insecurity, child malnutrition and an extensive migratory wave that expelled almost 6 million people”, the report pointed out, adding that poverty has reached 94,5% of the Venezuelan population in 2021.

Both entities highlighted that public policies of the Chavista regime were decisive for the child malnutrition reached very high levels: price controls, inspection and control measures, “including the criminalization of certain producers and traders, as well as the decision of the State to prefer supply through imports to the detriment of national production”, which provoked scarcity and food insecurity.

“All this constitutes a violation on the part of the Venezuelan State to respect access only to adequate food, since these measures and public policies as a whole had the effect of hampering access to food for a large part of the population”, they concluded.

Back to top button