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Colombia aids Venezuelans fleeing food, economic crisis

in Latin America/World Affairs by

Colombia has been hosting Venezuelans fleeing the country from a serious food shortage and economic crisis.

CARACAS, VENEZUELA

Since 2016, the neighboring Colombia offered visas to Venezuelans seeking refuge.

Although, the nation’s economy has been volatile since the death of former president Hugo Chávez in 2013, the economic crisis rocked the oil-rich Venezuela when too much oil extraction caused the global price to drop to $26 in 2016.

Venezuela’s depression led to a continual food shortage that left millions hungry and ultimately, experiencing acute malnutrition. Currently, the average adult citizen has lost 20 pounds (9 kg); infant mortality shoots up in an oil-rich, cash-poor economy.

Yesterday’s reports out of Venezuela recount periodic power outages that have forced at least 10 subway stations to close.

UN Aid

To assist efforts, the United Nations proposes to send aid to Colombia.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said after a meeting with Colombia President Juan Manuel Santos, and other officials in Bogotá. “I want to manifest all the support of the United Nations to the government and people of Colombia in this humanitarian effort, the reception of all these people, and say that we are even willing to mobilize other international help as is possible.”

Currently, the two South American countries are engaged in tense political affairs in war between the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) rebels and the smaller guerrilla group the National Liberation Army (ELN). Venezuela has provided assistance to FARC since former president Chávez was in power.

In April, Venezuela plans to hold presidential elections in a country under constant instability. Nicolas Maduro, the current present plans to run.

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