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Venezuela : Food Crisis Worsens amid Absence of Security | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A clerk grabs a stack of Venezuelan 10 bolivars banknotes at a fruit and vegetable store in Caracas July 10, 2015. REUTERS/Marco Bello

London- Along with the political crisis, there is a humanitarian crisis striking Venezuela. Monday is the only day of the week when Veronika, 33, can buy her weekly essential food products.

This routine started one year ago by the government when the crisis of food supply shortage emerged. Millions of Venezuelan people suffer daily to find essential food products such as: rice, milk and sugar.

It has become a familiar scene; hundreds lining up in front of supermarkets to purchase rice, sugar or even some bread. Yet, waiting in line does not necessarily guarantee getting the products you need.

This time-consuming process is one of the reasons behind the enormous growth of unemployment rate. In many cases, women quit their jobs in their attempt to get food. Yet, there is no accurate unemployment rate recorded in Venezuela.

It has even become more popular to see people searching through the garbage for food.

The shortage of food supplies has strengthened illegal industry in which rich citizens can buy food for triple its original price. A local report revealed that the hike of prices reached record levels in December 2016.

The crisis extends also to medicines – Veronika went through this experience also. Her father needs medicines that are not available in the markets, so they get them from Colombia.

Safety and security are the citizens’ biggest concerns. According to surveys, up to 85% of citizens have fears over their personal safety. Walking in the capital Caracas has become a hazardous activity due to cases of stealing and kidnapping.

There are no official figures of murders in Venezuela because the government is abstaining from disclosing such information.

The number of citizens who left the country since 2014 remains unknown but it is certain that thousands left and started new lives in Colombia, Argentina and the U.S. — Veronika never thought of leaving and she has told her daughter that despite tough circumstances, a person must be patient and remain in his country to help rebuild it.