Getting out the right COVID-19 information to saves lives

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By Gema Cortes, Public Information Officer, United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Caracas

When I arrived in Venezuela ten months ago, access to basic services and products such as food and medicines was already challenging. Patience and good humour were the formula for overcoming the long queues to pay at the supermarket. In a country where local cash is not operational, credit cards, mobile payments and cryptocurrencies are the only ways to pay.

This is not because of COVID-19, but because of a humanitarian situation caused by a prolonged economic and political crisis. Due to the almost 10,000 per cent hyperinflation last year, the exchange rate for US$1 has increased from 18,000 bolivars to 210,000 in only ten months.

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