Growing Malnutrition Numbers in Venezuelan Children

Figures tell us that the future of the country is bleak; There were 173 protests on Monday; If you have dollars, you get gas in Caracas no matter the last number of your license plate

A very, very concerning scenario.

Photo: The New Humanitarian

  • Cáritas de Venezuela, a charity oriented organization sponsored by Venezuela’s catholic church, published its report covering the months between April and July. The Global Acute Malnutrition index (GAM) increased 73% in children under five years old between February and July 2020. The lockdown had a considerable impact in the increase of child malnutrition: the proportion of children with acute malnutrition was five times higher than the increment of wasting in children. 34% of children had some degree of acute malnutrition or were at risk of malnutrition. In four of the states evaluated, there are children facing a degree of malnutrition “compatible with the maximum threshold of severity or catastrophic level.” In addition, 59% of children had some degree of delay in their lineal growth while 11% had a severe delay. 30% of children are at risk of growth delays. Half the malnutrition cases detected by Cáritas was in children under two years old and 20% of babies under six months had acute malnutrition. These figures are horrible. 
  • The education sector protested and was harassed by PSUV colectivos, police and military officers. Social media is full of painful and urgent stories that give more dimension to a protest that happened all over the country, in 85 different places, despite the pandemic, the weather and harassment. As always, state media didn’t cover the protests in towns and cities. There are testimonies, requests and simple descriptions about how unviable “remote learning” is: a person who wins three dollars a month can’t pay for reliable internet service or equipment. They demanded Nicolás’s regime increase their wages and improve working conditions. They had the support of other sectors and citizens solidary with their cause. It’s not worth mentioning the rest of chavismo’s actions against them, when they mocked an unrest that has reasons and needs solutions. 
  • NGO Observatorio Venezolano de Conflictividad Social reported that there were 130 peaceful protests in the country: “The main group was educators, demanding better wages,” said their report. 
  • At least in Caracas, gas stations selling gas at 0.5 dollars per ltr. didn’t abide by the measure of the license plate: if you can pay in dollars, it doesn’t matter when’s your turn. However, there were protests for the gas shortage: Anzoátegui, Barinas, Bolívar, Guárico and Portuguesa protested because gas stations didn’t open. It isn’t true that 1,568 gas stations opened under the alleged regularization of supply plan announced by Tareck El Aissami. The director of the Sole Union Workers Federation Eudis Girot denounced that out of 1,568 gas stations that should have opened, only 370 did, that out of 2,700 gas trucks, only 469 half worked, with hungry and miserable drivers that die of lack of medical attention. 
  • The mayor of Tovar municipality in Aragua state, Esteban Bocaranda, 62 years old, died of COVID-19. He was at the IVSS San José Hospital in Maracay. 
  • Deputy and doctor José Manuel Olivares said that “1,412 Venezuelans have died of COVID-19” and accused Nicolás’s regime of using sanctions to justify the lack of medical supplies in every hospital in the country. 
  • Delcy Rodríguez said that there were 683 new cases of coronavirus in the nation and five deaths on Monday, for a total of 79,117 cases and 658 deaths they’ve admitted to. 
  • ANC vice president Gladys Requena said that they’ll debate the Anti-Blockade Law Nicolás proposed next Thursday: “It will be a great debate (…) this law has elements to develop compensatory systems for salaries,” she lied and added that the regime hopes to capture resources to finance quality public services. They’ve never done that. 
  • Chavista deputy Pedro Carreño assured that there’s no turmoil in Venezuela for the deficiencies, it’s all against “imperialism”. Ignoring the dimension, frequency and urgency of the protests, he parroted that the sanctions are to blame, that’s why the sanctions are the reason to vote. Write this one down: “International observation can do what it wants. It’s one more element of neo-colonization.” He contradicts his bosses, who ask for the EU or UN to come and observe. 
  • Journalist Roberto Deniz (Armando.Info) published a video of deputy Luis Parra, head of the fake opposition at the National Assembly, in 2019 in Madrid, with shopping bags after the European tour that Parra and other six deputies did to defend Alex Saab. 
  • Meanwhile, in the country that Carreño and Parra don’t know, workers of the CLAP Sucre Potencia packing facility went to the Workers’ Comptrollership Office to denounce that they haven’t received their salaries in a year. 1,500 workers are affected. 
  • According to Bloomberg, the regime has brought 71 tonnes of security paper from an Italian printing company. The BCV is considering printing new banknotes for 100,000 bolivars, but that would only be 0.23 dollars. Needing larger bills is the consequence of destroying our currency and having hyperinflation for almost three years. The BCV is considering even higher bills in the future. 
  • The Court of Appeals of England annulled the decision of the High Court that concluded that the UK recognizes Juan Guaidó as caretaker president. They asked the Foreign Affairs Ministry to clarify before the Commercial Court if they recognize Nicolás as the de facto president. The Court of Appeals said that it can’t make a definitive ruling now, it needs the Foreign Ministry clarification and the Commercial Court decision. It’s an action of justice, because there’s rule of law in England. Meanwhile, the gold reserve (about one billion dollars) remains frozen. 
  • Colombian citizen Álex Saab presented his extradition case to the Tribunal of the Economic Community of Western African States reported Femi Falana, one of his many lawyers. They’re arguing “the illegality of his detention (…) questioning the whole process and asking for indemnization.” According to Falana, any decision by the Cape Verde Supreme Tribunal will have to wait for the decision of the ECOWAS. 
  • Deputy Miguel Pizarro reported that the Human Rights Council will vote on the resolution on the human rights situation on Tuesday or Wednesday. He reiterated his call to the international community to support this project that will be presented by a coalition of over 50 countries that support extending the mandate of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Fact-Finding Mission.

Naky Soto

Naky gets called Naibet at home and at the bank. She coordinates training programs for an NGO. She collects moments and turns them into words. She has more stories than freckles.