Undernutrition continues to increase in Venezuela. According to Caritas' latest report, at least 60% of undernourished children are lactating babies and 15 in 100 children are severely undernourished. There are 280 000 children at risk of dying due to undernourishment in the areas were the evaluation was undertaken (states of Zulia, Vargas, Miranda and Capital District). In one year, acute malnutrition in the infant population (0 – 5 years) has increased from 8% to 14.5%.
Three million persons suffering chronic diseases are at imminent risk due to the shortage of medicines. Malaria cases have grown by 63,1% in relation to last year. Most of the cases come from Bolivar state, but the disease has expanded to five other states. There is a 78% shortage of medicines in hospitals, 75% failure of medical and surgical equipment and supplies, and 76% shortage of catheters. No information is currently available on the number of casualties due to lack of medicines or medical care.
The dire situation in the country is also reflected in the increasing number of people fleeing. Exodus of Venezuelans to Colombia has soared during the last months (110 000 in October). It is estimated that about half a million Venezuelans have entered Colombia in 2017, mostly looking for access to food (80%), medicines or health care.