Human Rights Watch issued a report last week, written by researchers from the Center for Humanitarian Health and the Center for Public Health and Human Rights at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and experts from Human Rights Watch, documenting the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela resulting from the country’s political turmoil. The report calls upon the United Nations to lead an emergency response, given the scale of the crisis: The health system has collapsed and there are widespread food shortages.
The report, “Venezuela’s Humanitarian Emergency: Large-Scale UN Response Needed to Address Health and Food Crises,” documents increased numbers of maternal and infant deaths, the unchecked spread of vaccine-preventable diseases such as measles and diphtheria and sharp increases in the transmission of infectious diseases such as malaria and tuberculosis in Venezuela. Available data shows high levels of food insecurity and child malnutrition, as well as of hospital admissions of malnourished children.
The report’s authors interviewed more than 150 people. They included health care professionals, Venezuelans seeking or in need of medical care or food who had recently arrived in Colombia and Brazil, representatives from international and nongovernmental humanitarian organizations, UN officials and Brazilian and Colombian government officials. Researchers also analyzed data on the situation inside Venezuela from official sources, hospitals, international and national organizations and nongovernmental organizations.Friday Letter Submission