Empty refrigerator shelves are pictured at a Makro supermarket in Caracas, Venezuela, August 4, 2015. Venezuelan supermarkets are increasingly being targeted by looters, as swollen lines and prolonged food shortages spark frustration in the OPEC nation struggling with an economic crisis. Photo by Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters
Amid Venezuela’s ongoing economic crisis, protests this month in the nation’s capital over shortages of medicine and basic supermarket necessities have spotlighted the ripple effect of the falling price of oil, the country’s main export.
Food shortages have prompted some violence and more than 50 incidents of grocery store looting so far in 2015. Families of children with cancer demonstrated in front of a children’s hospital in Caracas this month to protest the country’s shortage of chemotherapy treatments.
Tens of thousands of Venezuelans with HIV have no access to antiretroviral drugs and condoms are scarce in the country. Venezuela has some of the highest HIV and teen pregnancy rates in South America.
The economic slowdown has also made a dent in Venezuela President Nicholas Maduro’s popularity, which fell to a new low of 24.3 percent in July, Reuters reported.
Customers line up to shop at a state-run Bicentenario supermarket in Caracas, Venezuela, May 2, 2014. Photo by Jorge Silva/Reuters
A woman holds up a giant hundred Bolivar note with the word, “Hungry” written on it in Spanish during a gathering to protest the government of President Nicolas Maduro, as well as economic insecurity and shortages, in Caracas, Venezuela, August 8, 2015. Photo by Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters
Venezuelans hold a banner bearing basic household products, that reads, “Wanted” in Spanish, while they shout during a gathering to protest the government of President Nicolas Maduro and economic insecurity and shortages, in Caracas, Venezuela, August 8, 2015. Photo by Carlos Garcia Rawlins
A woman lays on a hospital bed without sheets as she recovers after labor at a maternity hospital in Maracaibo, Venezuela, June 19, 2015. Photo by Isaac Urrutia/Reuters
A man walks past a mural depicting Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro in Caracas, August 13, 2015. Photo by Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters