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Despite Venezuela’s record growth, 9 out of 10 people live in poverty

A group of Venezuelans walks down a street with suitcases and bags, in San Cristóbal, Táchira state (EFE/ Johnny Parra/File)
A group of Venezuelans walks down a street with suitcases and bags, in San Cristóbal, Táchira state (EFE/ Johnny Parra/File)

Venezuelawhich in 2022 has accumulated the highest economic growth in its recent history, has 9 out of 10 of its inhabitants in povertyan estimate that, according to experts, is expected to improve a little this year, but without great figures, since multiple factors are still present that predict the continuation of deprivation for the majority of the population.

The country with the largest proven oil reserves commemorates this Monday the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty with a gap that is difficult to cover in the face of 2030, when the United Nations expects to have corrected the problem that in Venezuela was accentuated with six years of recession, currency devaluation and four years of hyperinflationamong other causes.

In the opinion of Professor María Gabriela Ponce, Venezuela is experiencing “a crisis in all spheres of social life, which obviously ends up generating important impacts on people’s living conditions”, most of them today unable to cover their basic needs. basic.

As the country celebrates four consecutive quarters of economic growth, poverty is so present that the UN approved a humanitarian response plan With which he hopes to support 5.2 million Venezuelans in extreme conditions this year, although estimates say that there are more who have urgent needs.

THE NUMBERS

A person holds several bills of bolivars and dollars, in Caracas (EFE/Miguel Gutiérrez)
A person holds several bills of bolivars and dollars, in Caracas (EFE/Miguel Gutiérrez)

94% of the population is below the poverty line, of which 76.6% live in this situation in misery, according to the measurement carried out in 2021 by the Andrés Bello Catholic University (UCAB).

Ponce, who is part of the research team that makes these measurements, explains to EFE that the Venezuelan case “has no manual” of understanding and it is, as human rights organizations call it, a complex humanitarian emergencyin which “it is not enough to fix one thing, (because) it manifests itself in all orders”.

For this reason, the researcher considers it necessary to look at the conditions of habitability, education, social protection and other aspects as a whole for a better understanding of national poverty.

Thus, estimates show that 65% of households live without the minimum, “at the extreme where all evils come together,” he adds.

The method, he argues, “tends to focus on the most severe poverty” and “checks that there are multiple deprivations in the home”, which 6 out of 10 Venezuelan women have.

THE AFFECTED

A parking lot at the foot of the popular neighborhood of Petare, in Caracas (EFE/Leonardo Muñoz)
A parking lot at the foot of the popular neighborhood of Petare, in Caracas (EFE/Leonardo Muñoz)

A third of the population (most of them pensioners and public employees) is sunk in extreme poverty, receiving about 15 dollars a monthin a country where about 500 dollars a month are needed for basic expenses.

The impoverishment in Venezuela has been “so great and so widespread, that people who in any other context, with what they had achieved, should not be poor” are, and it is about those who are over 60 years old and spent their lives working , an aspect that, in Ponce’s opinion, distinguishes the national crisis.

“If there is a population that has suffered especially the ravages of this, it is precisely the adult population mayr”, he explains after comparing that this age group, in other countries, “usually has lower levels of poverty because they have some accumulated savings”, but in Venezuela, currency devaluation and inflation dissolved any retirement plan.

“We are processing (the survey) for 2022, hopefully we will have good news in this regard,” added the researcher who forecasts the publication of these results for November with which the country will know where it is in terms of poverty.

(With information from EFE)

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