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UN warns of hunger rise in South America

The grim statistics were evident in Caracas on Wednesday (September 12) as people could be seen waiting in long lines outside grocery stores to buy the limited supplies available on shelves.

Olga Delgado, a Caracas resident who uses a wheelchair and must travel with a supply of oxygen waited outside a supermarket hoping to be let in. “I can’t wait in line for hours because the oxygen (tank) only lasts two hours,” she said.

The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2018 report said South America’s deteriorating hunger situation might be due to the low prices of the region’s main export commodities – particularly crude oil.

The U.N. has also said that lack of food had caused an estimated 2.3 million people to flee Venezuela as of June.

Susana Raffali, a nutritionist, noted the UN statistics regarding the increase in hunger in Venezuela and added, “there is a high quantity of Venezuelan children in a situation of extreme hunger, in a situation of grave malnutrition who go to die in the country’s hospitals where we don’t even have therapeutic supplies to save them.”

Venezuela is in the fifth year of a political and economic crisis that has sparked shortages of food, water and medicine, hyperinflation, rolling blackouts and mass migration from the OPEC nation.

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