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Nearly 20 Million Venezuelans Live in Multidimensional Poverty

Casi 20 millones de venezolanos viven en pobreza multidimensional, EFE

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As of March 2022, in Venezuela, a country of nearly 30 million inhabitants, 19.7 million people were living in multidimensional poverty, says the humanitarian information platform HUMVenezuela in a study analyzing the impacts of the Complex Humanitarian Emergency following the covid-19 pandemic lockdown.

According to the organization, the outbreak of the pandemic in the country, in March 2020, caused a more severe situation of emergencies that exacerbated the deprivations that already existed. “The data in this new measurement show that the CHE (Complex Humanitarian Emergency) is still far from evolving towards an early exit, which is happening in a context that is not yet showing signs of change in the factors that originated it and have maintained it during the last few years,” the platform says.

Other data highlighted by the report, in the area of living conditions, is that in the country mobility is difficult for 13.1 million people due to lack of transportation; 8.8 million spend months without domestic gas for cooking; 5.9 million suffered severe electrical failures; 3.8 million live in inadequate housing and 6.4 million were victims of abuse and/or violence.

By June 2021, members of 2.1 million households had migrated and some 900,000 intended to migrate out of the country. By March 2022, 1.8 million households had migrated and 700,000 intended to migrate.  

HUMVenezuela diagnostics show that 94.5% of the population does not have sufficient income to cover food costs and other basic goods and services such as housing, health, education, transportation and clothing.

“In the context of the CHE, Venezuela continues to exhibit a profound drop in economic capacities manifested in a reduction of 72% of GDP and 48% in the levels of formal employment,” the study says.

It adds: “In 2022, the Venezuelan population continues to face dramatic problems of access to sources of income and a cost of living that exceeds the purchasing power of the minimum wage by more than 90%, despite efforts to stabilize inflation.”

The platform explained that the structural causes of Venezuela’s deep economic fragility (a devastated institutional framework and absence of the rule of law) do not allow for significant changes to be expected in the medium term.

“In these circumstances, efforts to maintain the extreme dependence on imports (…) added to the non-transparent management of public resources due to the lack of institutional counterweights, have exacerbated the levels of inequality in the population,” the study states.

HUMVenezuela provides other data, in different lines, which further evidences the dire situation in which the country finds itself, in spite of dollarization. For example, as of March 2022, 18.7 million people had irreversibly lost or exhausted their livelihoods and 15.7 million depended on bonds, remittances or third party assistance for having lost all or most of their sources of income.

“Since most people face difficulties in accessing food, especially for economic reasons, 12.3 million are food insecure and in this group 2.1 million are severely food insecure,” the study says.

The number of people undernourished or chronically hungry due to food consumption deficits is estimated at 10.9 million. In such circumstances, 4.3 million people have had to deprive themselves of food, including spending entire days without eating.

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