Crisis Within a Crisis: Venezuela and COVID-19   [open pdf - 13MB]

From the Document: "The coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc around the globe, taking its toll in human lives and lost economic activity. The extent of the damage, however, depends on multiple factors--political leadership, health infrastructure, and underlying social and economic conditions. Viruses thrive in the context of poverty and inequality, where dire living conditions make large segments of the population vulnerable to disease and healthcare and social services are inadequate or practically non-existent. Latin America may well be one of the regions most affected by the pandemic. [...] Within Latin America, Venezuelans are at a particularly high risk of becoming sick and dying. A May 6, 2020, press release by a group of United Nations experts put it bluntly: 'The government must immediately explain how it intends to support people, many of whom are teetering on the brink of survival.' [...] This bulletin examines the humanitarian crisis that preceded the coronavirus pandemic in Venezuela in order to understand why the country is so vulnerable to the disease. It provides a brief overview of the government's response and analyzes the conditions in the food and healthcare sectors that have left Venezuelans overwhelmingly sick and hungry. The report then discusses the situation of Venezuelans migrants and refugees in other countries of the region. Each section concludes with an analysis of the international response to the crisis and provides recommendations for improving that response."

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