Poverty and the extinction of quality life – Isabella Urdaneta, Venezuela

Three of the principal universities in Venezuela: Universidad Simón Bolívar (USB), Universidad Central de Venezuela (UCV) and Universidad Católica Andrés Bello (UCAB) had made a study about the poverty in the country and the results are more than alarming: are inconsistent with the results of the official surveys.

February 19, 2015.

In one hand, the Instituto Nacional de Estadística (INE), the Nacional Institute of Statistics, says in his last study, comparing 2013 with 2012, that a total of 1 million 795 thousand 884 Venezuelans joined the ranks of poverty, that at the end of 2013 had 9 million 174 thousand 142 people; in percentage terms this is an increase ranging from 25.4% to 32.1% of the population, only talking about structural poverty: people who cannot afford basic food and services each month. Talking about extreme poverty: people that cannot afford a daily alimentation of 2.200 calories, we have an increasing of 737 thousand 364 people, between 2012 and 2013, to settle at 2 million 791 thousand 292 Venezuelans in this state of poverty at the end of 2013. In percentage terms, this translates into a jump going from 7.1% of the population to 9.8%. All this just in one year: yes, is awful, but: is this true? Can we trust again in statistics made by an institute manipulated by the government?

With this new study, in the other hand, is difficult to think that those surveys are true. This statistics are made by independent researches of the government, and says that the reality is other: we are talking about that more of 3.500.000 homes, much more than 14 million of peapole, in status of structural poverty, definitely more than the official tallies, poverty has increased or that studies are lying? Probably both.

Outside traditional measures, that helps to hide a dark truth in official studies, the independent study also said that the inflation (more than 150% in the last thirteen months) strongly affects the population, in fact: 33% of the country is in this new status of poverty: the non-structural. These persons have problems to access to the minimal quality of life, but have structural households with a minimum quality of life, so this level of poverty is lower but risky, those people can be in a stronger level of poverty in a short amount of time. 33% of the population sounds like a high amount of people, why the government hides the reality? They try again to hide their ineptitude when they not count this new level of poverty?

If we sum the two numbers, we found that more of two thirds of the population is in a state of poverty, which clearly means that the quality of life of the country continues to decline over the years, reaching the more critical levels since the poverty studies began.

Official studies disagree with independent ones, who is right? Decide which are the valid studies becomes a subject of record: the government of Venezuela has manipulated statistics before? Yes, the truth is that lying, even for the president Maduro, is a common thing. The cruel reality is that poverty in Venezuela dangerously increases every year, showing not only a difficult outlook for the future but a serious failure of government: how an oil country can have so many economic problems?

Again the economic and social measures taken by the government shouts corruption and incompetence.

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