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Montevideo, December 16th 2018 - 13:46 UTC

Unicef and Caritas confirm growing and extended malnutrition in Venezuela

Wednesday, January 31st 2018 - 09:33 UTC
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Venezuela has not published data on wasting, a low weight to height ratio in children, since 2009, when figure was 3.2%. Caritas put the figure at 15.5% in 2017. Photo: Meridith Kohut / New York Times Venezuela has not published data on wasting, a low weight to height ratio in children, since 2009, when figure was 3.2%. Caritas put the figure at 15.5% in 2017. Photo: Meridith Kohut / New York Times
“When it’s about fighting child malnutrition, it’s not a time for discussing, it’s time for action,” Boulierac said Unicef spokesperson “When it’s about fighting child malnutrition, it’s not a time for discussing, it’s time for action,” Boulierac said Unicef spokesperson

The U.N. children's agency UNICEF said it was seeing clear signs of a growing malnutrition crisis in Venezuela, but it lacked data to give precise information and to tackle the problem effectively.

 “While precise figures are unavailable because of very limited official health or nutrition data, there are clear signs that the crisis is limiting children’s access to quality health services, medicines and food,” UNICEF spokesman Christophe Boulierac told a regular U.N. briefing in Geneva.

Venezuela's government has not published data on wasting - a low weight to height ratio in children under five - since 2009, when the figure was 3.2%. Aid agency Caritas put the figure at 15.5% last August, UNICEF said.

“When it’s about fighting child malnutrition, it’s not a time for discussing, it’s time for action,“ Boulierac said. ”Acting to fight malnutrition requires data, and there’s not enough official data right now and there’s not enough coordination.”

He said he had no information to suggest that UNICEF was being prevented from doing its work, and it was not uncommon to have a lack of data.

The government of President Nicolas Maduro says Venezuela is fighting a U.S.-led right-wing conspiracy determined to end socialism in Latin America, hobble Venezuela's economy, and steal its oil wealth.

But critics say Maduro, who succeeded Hugo Chavez in 2013 and said this week he was standing for re-election, has ruined a once prosperous oil economy, turned Venezuela into a dictatorship and skewed the election system to perpetuate power for his Socialist Party.

UNICEF said the government had taken steps to mitigate the impact of the crisis on children, by providing affordable food packages to the most vulnerable families, cash transfers, and strengthening nutritional assessment and recuperation services.

But Boulierac said that without concerted action between the government, aid agencies and the U.N., efforts to tackle malnutrition would be ineffective.

“It’s a situation where there is an economic crisis, hyperinflation, sky-rocketing prices, and it’s also a socio-political crisis with a lack of agreement, dialogue, to solve the most urgent issues.”

Categories: Politics, Venezuela.

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  • Chicureo

    DemonTree

    Check “Falklands' Dictionary of Biographies”

    In a recent post, “BrianFI” has exposed Patrick Edgar as an North American that was living in Hawaii, pretending to be Argentine. “He recently tried to move to Argentina but was deported having failed to get a work permit. He has numerous convictions for drug use and related crimes and this has clearly addled his mind, that is why he rambles on like a madman. The only reason he is on here is because he was banned from Facebook for making homophobic comments. How do I know this? He used to be an active member on some Falkland pages until he was banned for being homophobic, this is all public knowledge...”

    Makes sense...

    Jan 31st, 2018 - 05:31 pm +2
  • DemonTree

    Maduro's just using the US as a scapegoat. They have never put the kind of sanctions on Venezuela that Cuba had to cope with, and Cuba has nothing like Venezuela's oil reserves, yet Cuba's economy is not a complete basket case like Venezuela's. Maduro and previously Chavez did the damage themselves with stupid, self-serving policies, and now they are selling off the oil reserves to Russia, which is no better than selling them to the US.

    PS. Leaving children to starve is NOT patriotic.

    Jan 31st, 2018 - 11:56 am 0
  • DemonTree

    What unmitigated bullshit. You sound like you have never met a single person who has served in the armed forces, something that should make me wonder how old YOU are. Only consider that between 1939 and 1945 a whole generation went to war, and yet afterwards society continued to function and grow, people got married, raised their children, elected governments, and advanced human science. In the other thread, you yourself were agreeing with Jack Bauer that the destruction of war had caused people to try to get along better and helped the creation of the EU.

    And as for this:

    “Something similar happens to police officers, and it is because of the implicit vow they commit to in taking another person's life.”

    Let me show you how absurd you sound. In the UK fatal police shootings hit a 12 year high last year; our 123,000 police officers killed a grand total of 6 people. Most officers do not even carry guns, they are certainly not losing sleep at night over the minuscule chance they might have to kill someone. Even in the US, only 27% of police officers say they have ever fired their service weapon while on the job, let alone killed anyone.

    Patrick, I think your habit of arguing mostly with people who strongly disagree with you means your ideas are never really challenged. They dismiss you; you dismiss them; no one learns anything. But it means you are stuck in your own head thinking in circles. Only if you test your ideas against reality and get other people's input can you really improve and develop them.

    Jan 31st, 2018 - 10:39 pm -1
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