Around three-fourths of Venezuelans now live in extreme poverty as the once-prosperous OPEC nation’s hyperinflationary economic collapse continued for a seventh straight year, according to a study published on Thursday.
The 2020-2021 National Survey of Living Conditions, conducted by researchers at Andres Bello Catholic University, found that of the country’s 28 million residents, 76.6% live in extreme poverty, up from 67.7 per cent last year.
The report attributed the rise to both the Wuhan virus pandemic and chronic fuel shortages, which at least 20% of respondents said meant they could not put gasoline in their cars, a major obstacle to employment.
The ENCOVI study was created in 2014 to make up for the absence of official data, according to Mr. Pedro Luis Espana, a UCAB sociologist who contributed to the study.
Mr. Espana said that beyond the loss of purchasing power, the lack of employment has led to boredom, adding that Venezuela’s public sector pays poorly, as the country’s minimum wage hovers around $3 a month, and the country’s private sector is small.
It is the absence of opportunities, Espana stated. It is sitting in front of the door of the house, doing nothing, not because you do not want to do anything, but because there is nowhere to do it, he added.