From the Document: "The deteriorating humanitarian situation in Venezuela has elevated congressional concerns about the country, which remains in a deep crisis under the authoritarian rule of President Nicolás Maduro. Even before the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, Venezuelans were facing a lack of food, medicine and health, and access to social services. Political persecution, hyperinflation, loss of income, and oppressive poverty also contributed to a dire situation. According to household surveys, the percentage of Venezuelans living in poverty increased from 48.4% in 2014 to 96% in 2019 (80% in extreme poverty). Millions require humanitarian assistance, with pregnant and nursing women, those with chronic illnesses, indigenous people, migrants, children under five, and people with disabilities particularly in need. In February 2020, the U.N. World Food Program (WFP) released an assessment showing that in 2019, 9.3 million Venezuelans were food insecure, with 2.3 million people at severe levels. Many Venezuelans reported that the price of food presented more of an obstacle than the availability of food. Many households did not have reliable access to potable water and reported interruptions in electrical service and gas supplies. With a collapsed health system, overall health indicators, particularly infant and maternal mortality rates, worsened. Previously eradicated diseases such as diphtheria and measles also became a major concern."
CRS In Focus, IF11029
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/