Critical food shortages are currently creating an unwanted situation in one of South America’s largest nations, a level of malnutrition not commonly seen other than in the most poverty stricken countries in Africa. Caused by the current economic crisis in the country, extremely grave types of malnutrition in children are making headlines globally.
Members of the Venezuelan National Assembly have commented that 20% of Venezuelan children face problems of malnutrition and that the numbers of severe cases admitted to health institutions have escalated. A recent survey found that nine out of every 10 Venezuelan homes lack the resources to maintain a balanced diet. Recent statistics also suggest that a basic food basket for a family of five costs about $23 per month as opposed to the minimum salary which is only $15 per month.
Despite the fact that Venezuela is home to one of the largest oil reserves in the world, a large number of the population is going hungry and 75% of the population is eating only two times or less per day. The experts suggest that a plunge in oil prices last year had an extremely detrimental effect on the Venezuelan economy resulting in a lack of funding to meet the $500 million dollar budget usually allocated to import food to meet the requirements of the total population.
For this reason, Venezuela is starting to show signs of the kind of poverty normally not seen in Latin America and the crisis is affecting the children who are considered the most vulnerable portion of the population. Hunger has affected classroom performance with high levels of malnutrition seen currently in the nation’s schools.
Everyone in the organic supplements industry is encouraged to see what companies might do to remedy this situation.
Simi Summer, Ph.D. is an organic advocate, independent researcher, educator, and free lance writer. She is a strong proponent of organic consumer education and informed consumer choices.
NOTE: The opinions expressed in bylined articles are not necessarily those of the publisher.
Posted on WholeFoods Magazine Online, 8/10/2016