More than three quarters live in extreme poverty
– About three-quarters of Venezuelans now live in extreme poverty as the hyperinflationary economic collapse in the once-prosperous OPEC country continued for a seventh consecutive year, according to a study released Wednesday.
The National Survey on Living Conditions 2020-2021 (ENCOVI), conducted by researchers from the Catholic University Andres Bello (UCAB), revealed that of the country’s 28 million inhabitants, 76.6% live in extreme poverty, against 67.7% last year.
The report attributes the increase to both the COVID-19 pandemic and chronic fuel shortages, which at least 20% of those surveyed mean they can’t put gas in their cars, a major obstacle to employment.
The ENCOVI study was created in 2014 to address the lack of official data, according to Pedro Luis Espana, a UCAB sociologist who contributed to the study.
Espana said that beyond the loss of purchasing power, the lack of employment has led to boredom, adding that the Venezuelan public sector pays poorly as the country’s minimum wage hovers around $ 3 per year. months and the country’s private sector is small.
“It’s the lack of opportunities,” Espana said. “He’s sitting in the front door of the house, doing nothing, not because you don’t want to do anything, but because there’s nowhere to do it.”
Venezuela’s information ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the results. President Nicolás Maduro’s government frequently blames U.S. sanctions for the country’s woes, but critics attribute the country’s crisis to his government’s economic mismanagement.
When measured solely by income levels, 94.5% of the population lives in poverty, a figure unmatched elsewhere in the region, according to the ENCOVI survey.
The survey was conducted through questionnaires distributed to 14,000 households in 21 of the country’s 23 states between February and April.
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