World: Venezuela's food crisis hits kids hard - PressFrom - US
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WorldVenezuela's food crisis hits kids hard

18:31  12 february  2019
18:31  12 february  2019 Source:   msn.com

Venezuela's Guaido warns military on blocked aid

Venezuela's Guaido warns military on blocked aid Opposition leader Juan Guaido, recognized by some 50 countries as Venezuela's interim president, warned the military Sunday that blocking humanitarian aid from entering the country is a "crime against humanity." require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); The warning comes as international aid has taken center stage in a test of wills between Guaido and President Nicolas Maduro in which the military is seen as the pivotal player.

This week, we tell you more about the food crisis in Venezuela . The economic crisis has left people lining up outside emptying supermarkets, desperate for food . Many Venezuelans have been inadvertently losing weight. Some have even started joking about the "Maduro Diet".

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Venezuela's food crisis hits kids hard© Provided by AFP An undernourished baby in a hospital bed in Maracay, Aragua state, Venezuela on February 7, 2019

Yemilay Olivar trudged nearly 10 miles in worn-out shoes to bring her malnourished baby to the hospital, and left another six hungry kids at home.

As Venezuela's government and opposition quarrel over letting in foreign humanitarian aid, the saddest face of the crisis is indeed that of suffering children.

Olivar's two-month-old baby girl Rosmilay should weigh around five kilos but tips the scales at just half that, and this is 200 grams less than at birth.

Trump: Military intervention in Venezuela an 'option'

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As the economic crisis in Venezuela deepens, the number of children asking for money or food in the streets is sharply on the rise. For some children, it

The child's skin adheres so tightly to the bone that it was hard to carry out intravenous feeding. The drama played out in a pediatric hospital called Los Samanes, in the city of Maracay, about 100 kilometers from Caracas.

"They could not find a vein," 29-year-old Yemilay, looking downcast and unhealthy.

Huniades Urbina, president of the Pediatric Society, said 78 percent of children in Venezuela are at risk for malnutrition -- before due to food shortages and now staggering hyperinflation.

A can of milk for newborns costs as much as 70,000 bolivares, or nearly four months the minimum wage.

Elder, a pediatrician with 32 years of experience who asked that her last name be given for fear of repercussions, says she cannot recall seeing kids in such bad shape.

UN says ready to send aid if Caracas govt approves

UN says ready to send aid if Caracas govt approves UN agencies are ready to send aid to Venezuela as requested by opposition leader Juan Guaido, who more than 40 nations recognise as interim president, but they can only act with authorisation from the Caracas government, a spokesman said on Thursday. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.

Protests in Venezuela have been ongoing for two months and have thrown the country into crisis . The unrest stems from extreme inflation, shortages of basic

The economy, hit hard by the fall in oil prices, has collapsed and daily life for Venezuelans has become an uphill battle. Faced with food shortages as well as water and power cuts, everyone is feeling the pinch and discontent is on the rise, fuelled by looting and endemic violence.

"Children come in with their little bones wrapped in skin. It is shocking to see," Elder told AFP at the hospital.

While holding her baby Yemilay Olivar recalls that she spent her pregnancy eating rice or grain that were gifted to her. She went to see Cuban doctors as part of a government health program but she got no vitamins, she said.

Venezuela's food crisis hits kids hard© Provided by AFP A woman holds her undernourished baby in a hospital in Maracay, Aragua state, Venezuela; 60 to 70 percent of children admitted suffer some degree of malnutirition

This saga and many others like it are at the center of the fight between opposition leader Juan Guaido, who has been recognized as interim president by some 50 countries, and leftist president Nicolas Maduro.

Guaido argues that it is urgent to let in US-financed medicine and food stored inside Colombia on the border with Venezuela. Maduro says no to such assistance, saying it would be the first step toward a US military intervention.

Venezuela military reinforces Colombian border blockade

Venezuela military reinforces Colombian border blockade Venezuela's military reinforced a blockade on Thursday morning at the border with Colombia where opposition leader Juan Guaido has vowed to bring in desperately-needed humanitarian aid despite President Nicolas Maduro's vow to keep it out. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); AFP journalists saw several new freight containers blocking the road that connects the town of Urena in Venezuela to Cucuta in Colombia, where tons of US aid has been piling up for a week.

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Venezuelan families are giving their children away in a last ditch effort to save them as severe food shortages mount. As the region’ s economic recession

- 'They thought he was dead' -

Samuel, who is 15 months old, weighs as little as a newborn. His mother Gleiny Hernandez cries as she looks at him in a bed in the city's Central Hospital, where he was close to death upon admission.

Venezuela's food crisis hits kids hard© Provided by AFP Children eat at the Kapuy Foundation shelter -- which aids sick or abandoned children -- in the midst of a deepening humanitarian crisis

"They did not want to treat him because they thought he was dead on arrival," said 26-year-old Hernandez, who recently gave birth to another child.

Samuel's head stands out grotesquely because his little body is so emaciated. He barely moves and stares off at nothing. During 15 days of hospitalization, his weight has increased from 3.6 kilos to 3.9 kilos.

His yellowish arms and legs show a rash caused by some of the medicine he is being given.

Even the 10-story hospital itself is a basket case. The floors are filthy, the elevator does not work and in many rooms there are signs warning there is no running water.

"There are doctors who have fainted from not eating," an anesthesiologist with 20 years of experience told AFP.

Trump, Colombian president meet over Venezuela crisis

Trump, Colombian president meet over Venezuela crisis President Donald Trump hosts his Colombian counterpart Ivan Duque at the White House on Wednesday to discuss their campaign to pressure Venezuela's far left president, Nicolas Maduro, from power. The Trump-Duque talks in the Oval Office, followed by lunch, will give the allies a chance to compare notes just as the standoff between Maduro and opposition leader Juan Guaido heats up over the arrival of mostly US aid shipments.

Begging for food in Venezuela Jump to media player Food has become so scarce in Venezuela after the economy collapsed that people are getting desperate. The BBC’s Vladimir Hernandez is one of the few international journalists who has been able to report from the state. How Venezuela ' s crisis

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Maduro denies there is a humanitarian crisis and argues that six million poor families receive a crate of subsidized, cut-rate foodstuffs every month.

"It is all so exasperating," said Grismely Morillo, a resident in internal medicine, who cries over what she describes as the utter chaos at the hospital.

Of the 15 to 20 kids treated daily in the pediatric ward of the Central Hospital, 60 to 70 percent show some degree of malnutrition, hospital sources said.

A study by the Catholic charity Caritas published in November revealed that 57 percent of the 4,103 kids under five who were treated there had some kind of malnutrition and it was severed in 7.3 percent of cases.

- Donations from abroad -

Venezuela's food crisis hits kids hard© Provided by AFP Children play at the Kapuy Foundation shelter, which cares for children who have been abandoned or face serious health problems, including malnutrition, in Maracay, Aragua state, Venezuela

In an old house in downtown Maracay that used to be a casino, the walls are now covered with children's drawings.

"Bienvenidos" -- welcome -- is spelled out in colored letters in a room where kids learn to read and write.

The house is now a school for some 20 kids and works as part of a foundation called Kapuy. It was created four years ago by Daniela Olmos, a 32-year-old doctor's assistant, when she returned to Venezuela from the United States.

At first she used to hand out food in the streets. But eventually she realized this was tantamount to throwing food away if it was not part of a program with true social and nutritional impact.

The opposition-controlled National Assembly says Venezuela is in the grips of a food emergency, the consequences of which include a growth delay in 33 percent of poor children up to two years of age.

Overwhelmed by the crisis, Mayerlin Diaz, who has seven kids, one of them with Down syndrome, used to look for food in garbage cans or panhandle for money. The Kapuy foundation rescued her from that life.

"Thanks to them, my children eat three meals a day. I have a job here," said Diaz, who said that from the government she gets a monthly voucher that does not even buy her a kilo of rice.

Donald Trump denounces 'turmoil' in Venezuela, declines to talk about using U.S. troops.
“We look at all options," Donald Trump told reporters when asked about troops, but “I never talk about that." Before his Oval Office meeting with Colombian president, Trump also said "people are being treated very badly" in Venezuela, and "I don’t like seeing it. I’m not happy about it." The U.S. has recognized interim Venezuelan President Juan Guaido as Venezuela's legitimate leader, and demanded that President Nicolas Maduro stand down. In praising Guaido during Wednesday's meeting, Trump told reporters that "I have great respect for the man that most people, many people think is the real president.

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