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Advent of Activism 5: Hunger and violence in Venezuela

2017 was full of disasters. We can do something about it. Each day in December, we're telling you how to help people or places in need. This is the Advent of Activism.

People queue outside a supermarket in Caracas to buy basic foodstuffs and household products on November 10.

FEDERICO PARRA / AFP

People queue outside a supermarket in Caracas to buy basic foodstuffs and household products on November 10.

Venezuela is in tatters. The heavily oil-dependent South American nation has suffered a spiralling crisis since 2014.

Thanks to out-of-control inflation, Venezuelans in poverty — who make up most of the population — can't access even the most basic food and medical supplies, or must line up for hours to receive meagre rations. The socialist government under president Nicholas Maduro is maintaining its grip on power by brutal means, including killing protesters by the dozens. The capital, Caracas, suffers from war-zone-level lawlessness and violence; close to one person in every thousand is murdered every year.

The infant mortality rate rose a breathaking 30 per cent year over year. Maternal deaths are up 65 percent.

Given Venezuela's unstable financial situation, finding reliable ways to donate can be a challenge. But it's possible!

Some ways to help

Meals4Hope is a Barcelona-based charity that is providing meals directly to Venezuelan children and emergency therapy for children suffering from dangerous, acute malnutrition. It also runs nutrition education programs and community gardens. Credit-card donations are accepted from anywhere in the world.

MSF/Doctors Without Borders is providing pyschological care for victims of violence and trauma sufferers in Caracas.

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