AMERICA/VENEZUELA - Economic and social crisis: minors, adolescents and older people in the streets rummaging for food among the waste

Thursday, 28 September 2017


Caracas (Agenzia Fides) - The long economic and social crisis that Venezuela is experiencing and the great difficulty in finding groceries are having a worrying impact on children and families living in more vulnerable situations. "The situation is really dramatic, not just children, even young people and old people wander around the city looking for food. You see them rummaging rubbish bags to find something, in fast foods they ask people a little bit of what they eat, or at the entrance of bakeries they wait for people who buy bread with the hope that some is given to them. It is really a terrible situation", says to Fides Carlos Nieto Palma, a Venezuelan human rights lawyer.
In a recent Caritas Venezuela Report, alarming figures about poverty and malnutrition that affect children in the country emerge. According to the study - carried out with estimates that go from April 2017 to August 2017, in 32 parishes of Caracas and the States of Miranda, Vargas and Zulia - "14.5% of the children examined suffer from moderate to severe malnutrition; 21% suffer from mild malnutrition, while 32.5% are at risk of malnutrition". Data also show that 68% of children "have a nutritional deficit or are likely to have it". In 71% of households contacted there was a deterioration in the quality of food, 64% said they were having a food shortage, and 63% claimed to buy groceries from so-called "bachaqueros" (black market) due to the shortage of food products in supermarkets.
Recently, the complaint was made by the director of the Red de Casas Don Bosco civil society organization: although several months have passed since the request was sent to the Autonomous State Institute Consejo Nacional de Derechos de Niños, Niñas y Adolescentes (Idenna) so that the protection of children's rights in risk situations is developed, this plan does not yet exist. The same organization assists and hosts more than 1,300 children in the ten homes in Lima, Arequipa, Huancayo, Ayacucho and Cusco. (AP) (Agenzia Fides, 28/9/2017)