CEPAL: There Is “Definitely No Humanitarian” Crisis in Venezuela

The organisation’s Executive Secretary, Alicia Bárcena, confirmed there was “definitely no” humanitarian crisis in the country. 

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(AFP 2016/ Vladimir Rodas)
(AFP 2016/ Vladimir Rodas)
By Rachael Boothroyd-Rojas
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Caracas, October 27, 2016 (venezuelanalysis.com) - The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (CEPAL) has dismissed claims circulated by the Venezuelan opposition and the international media that the country is facing a “humanitarian crisis”. 

In an exclusive interview with Sputnik News earlier this week, CEPAL Executive Secretary Alicia Bárcena stated that it was “necessary to make it clear” that the country is “definitely not” in the midst of a humanitarian emergency. 

“There is scarcity of certain products and political tension, but Venezuela still has many elements in order to be a vibrant country and thrive economically, and it is making efforts to diversify its production,” stated the CEPAL head. 

Bárcena also added that it was impossible “to obscure” how the national government had “lifted many people out of poverty,” while praising the current Maduro administration for taking new “interesting” measures aimed at directly “supporting the poorest families” in the country. 

In further comments to the news agency, the CEPAL Executive Secretary predicted that the Venezuelan economy would contract just 4% in 2017, as opposed to 8% this year, “due to the recovery of oil prices”.

Nonetheless, Bárcena recommended that the government take action on its currency exchange controls, which she described as “causing damage to the Venezuelan economy”. 

The country is currently facing an economic crisis brought about by a collapse in global oil prices, leading to scarcities of certain imported food and medical supplies. 

In recent months, the national political opposition has attempted to have the country categorised as facing a humanitarian crisis in its bid to unseat the elected national government.