Hunger in Venezuela? A Look Beyond the Spin
Schiavoni, Christina; Camacaro, Williamhttp://foodfirst.org/special-report-hunger-in-venezuela-a-look-beyond-the-spin/#.V5S-T-yVV5s.facebook
Publisher: Food First
Date Written: 11/07/2016
Year Published: 2016
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX19819
Venezuala has food shortages when it comes to specific foods, but there have been grassroots and governmental responses.
As a producer of a high demand commodity and a voracious consumer of food imports, Venezuela became firmly inserted into the global economy in ways that have rendered it particularly vulnerable to fluctuations in global oil and food prices and to domestic inflation. The companies responsible for food imports and distribution have been able to use these conditions to their advantage in certain ways. For instance, since 1983, when the Venezuelan bolivar suffered a sharp devaluation against the US dollar, driving up inflation, a common practice has been to align product prices with black market currency rates as opposed to official (regulated) currency rates, further fueling inflation in the process.
The bottom line? Indeed, people are having a harder time accessing food right now in Venezuela. The situation is serious and needs to be addressed urgently. Is Venezuela in the midst of a humanitarian crisis? No, not according to Venezuelas Department of Health, international authorities such as the FAO, or our own observations and numerous interviews with community organizers and citizens.
Meanwhile, social movements are seizing the moment to forge deeper transformation toward food sovereignty. Driven by necessity, unprecedented numbers of people are engaging and re-engaging in agriculture, from community farms to backyard patios, and in the process, exchanging seeds, bartering goods, and creating new local enterprises.