Malnutrition forces Venezuelan children to skip school

Global Business

Hunger has many different faces in Venezuela.

The country is in a deep economic crisis, with severe shortages of food. Half the population is eating less than three meals a day.

That’s making it difficult for some children to go to school, and to focus on their studies.

CGTN’s Juan Carlos Lamas reports.

Malnutrition forces Venezuelan children to skip school

Malnutrition forces Venezuelan children to skip school

Hunger has many different faces in Venezuela. The country is in a deep economic crisis, with severe shortages of food. Half the population is eating less than three meals a day. That's making it difficult for some children to go to school, and to focus on their studies. CGTN’s Juan Carlos Lamas reports.
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Students across Venezuela are grappling with a subject that’s not part of the standard curriculum. They’re learning about hunger, and not from a textbook.

One child in ten eats only one meal a day.

Out of 700 students at this Caracas elementary school, nearly 200 have been identified as at risk of malnutrition. Doctors are concerned it will have lasting effects.

Doctors said poor nutrition is especially dangerous for young children. A recent survey shows there are hungry children across the country in both urban and rural areas.

Twenty-seven percent of children in Venezuela’s poorest neighborhoods have problems with malnutrition.

At one school, in the notorious Caracas slum La Vega, some children are eating at least one meal a day provided by the Bengoa foundation-a non-profit devoted to providing better nutrition for women and children.

Bengoa not only provides food, but also teaches how to cook with non-traditional ingredients when traditional ones are unavailable. Bengoa’s research shows around 25 percent of Venezuela’s children have stopped attending school because they’re hungry. By providing at least one meal a day, the program hopes to help the neediest students stay healthy and stay in school.