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Saturday, 5 December, 2020

Almost 80% of Venezuelans live in extreme poverty

Poverty surged to historic and unprecedented levels in Venezuela, after seven years of Nicolas Maduro in the government, a poll made by the three largest universities in the nation found.

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By Carlos Camacho.

Results of the 2019 ENCOVI quality of life poll -shared with media outlets over a conference call- put Venezuelan poverty in levels unmatched elsewhere in Latin America.

At one time among the prominent nations, Venezuela, the founder of OPEC, has been experiencing hyperinflation since October 2017, and an economic collapse that, in terms of GDP decline, is entering its sixth year, making it more acute than the USA Great Depression in 1930.

“There is no wealth to distribute,” sociologist, Pedro Luis España said during the call conference presenting ENCOVI 2019 results, with Venezuela having experienced an “abrupt fall in economic output”.

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79,3 of Venezuelan lives in extreme poverty and 96,3 % of the population have low incomes. The average ingress of Venezuelans is about $0,72 a day. Therefore, 80% of Venezuelan households cannot afford the monthly food basket the 2019 ENCOVI poll found. These figures put Venezuela in the same league as Chad and Nigeria.

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According to the poll, almost 65% of Venezuelans live in something called multidimensional poverty, meaning that, besides having dropping incomes, they do not have access to education or public services with regularity.

The poll ENCOVI 2019 also reported on something else: transfers of government resources or subsidies have not had an impact on reducing poverty. On the contrary, the bonus and the Carnet de la Patria, policies began by Maduro in 2016 seem to have only increased it, according to the poll results.

Not even the movement migration with 5.5 million Venezuelans who left the country since Maduro took over in 2013 has been enough to slow down the pace of poverty.

“The poverty increase in Venezuela is not about inequality. The hyperinflation has also impacted the income of the population when we see that the average income is 0.72 dollars per day,” España said.

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