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Venezuela's Healthcare Crisis Needs Emergency Attention

A mom and her 1-day-old baby in a Venezuelan maternity ward. (AP)

A mom and her 1-day-old baby in a Venezuelan maternity ward. (AP)

February 08, 2019

There is an unparalleled humanitarian emergency in Venezuela, one that has been recognised by multiple international organisations.

Since the collapse of its oil-rich economy in 2014, the country has struggled to raise hard currency. The government is abandoning one of its two official foreign exchange rates, which had been used for food and medicine imports. The IMF predicts inflation could reach 10m per cent this year and estimates the economy will shrink by at least 18 per cent.

When regime change comes, the IMF should immediately assess the economic and financial situation of the country and develop an emergency plan. Of greatest urgency will be the need for multilateral organisations such as the Inter-American Development Bank, the Organization of American States and the World Bank to support Venezuela’s new regime in addressing one of the gravest humanitarian crises seen in the region — one that has been deepened by the imminent breakdown of the public health infrastructure and shortages of food, water, electricity, medicine and basic medical supplies.

Read the full op-ed on Financial Times.