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Sunday, December 4, 2022

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The Venezuela of growth, in urgent need of humanitarian assistance

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Hector Pereira

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Irianny and her little son are malnourished. She, a practicing teacher, is unable to provide a balanced diet for her family, since she earns a monthly salary of less than US$100 and therefore goes to a free soup kitchen, where needs abound and the economic recovery of Venezuela it is far from being felt.

The child is not yet two years old and for months has been part of a humanitarian assistance program of the NGO Caritas, which he entered showing signs of malnutrition, the same ones that were later identified in the mother, who is also nursing from another six-month-old girl.

The 36-year-old woman does not skimp on thanking the help she receives, which she sees as an essential part of her life. Even knowing that this Friday marks World Humanitarian Aid Day, she asks that soup kitchens like the one she goes to in a Caracas neighborhood multiply because there are “many” who need this support.

The need for help

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Like Irianny, at least 5.2 million Venezuelans have urgent needs, according to the humanitarian response plan published this week by the United Nations, which has asked international donors for almost US$800 million to finance these aid programs in the country.

The requirement, based on an increase in perceived needs, poses a parallel reality to that of the economic recovery that the Government proclaims.

If, on the one hand, the growth of Venezuela in 2022 is, according to the Executive, the largest in Latin America, no country in the region needs as much money to help its poorest population as the oil nation.

This gap is due, in the opinion of Dr. Javier Manrique, to the continuity of the needs of the most vulnerable -such as children, indigenous communities, people with disabilities and the elderly-, to whom the economic improvement has not reached.

“Humanitarian assistance in Venezuela has to continue since, specifically for these vulnerable groups (…) the determining elements of their vulnerability have not disappeared, there is no economic recovery, there is no higher income,” he told Efe. doctor, humanitarian coordinator of the NGO Convite.

The organization, which supports older adults in almost the entire country, emphasizes that 70% of this population receives only a pension of US$23 per month, with which they cannot cover their health or food expenses, since they require about US$ 400 to cover the minimum expenses.

humanitarian work

While the idea of ​​recovery resounds in a country full of international concerts and new companies, “needs continue to exist” and “it is more important than ever that the international community continue to show solidarity with the Venezuelan people”, or at least this is what this month the UN humanitarian chief, Martin Griffiths, after a visit to the Caribbean nation.

Irianny is proof that the needs have not disappeared. The teacher does not deny that “some families” today are “better” than a few years ago but she, she points out, in her case that improvement has been achieved thanks to humanitarian assistance.

My life “could say that it has been improved with the help I receive through these organizations (NGOs), which is what has allowed me to improve both the economic and health situation that my family perceives,” he says.

In view of this reality, the director of Convite insists, it is necessary to make visible the shortcomings and “dramatic indicators”, with extreme poverty estimated at more than 70% by non-governmental organizations, in order to obtain international financing that allows us to continue supporting those who need it most. they need.

“The fact that a person with all the rights inherent to their conditions as a human being has to choose between medicine and eating, I believe that it is already a sufficient demonstration of the level of suffering they are facing”, emphasizes Manrique.

Both the doctor and the United Nations and the Government agree on the importance of connecting humanitarian assistance with capacity building, a link that, they say, could leverage the incipient economic recovery to ensure that no one, especially the most needy, is left behind.

Source: Gestion

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