A new deal could ease Venezuela’s humanitarian crisis. The international community must get behind it.

Post Date: 
Washington Post

Imagine being a health worker trying to keep covid-19 at bay in a country where the health system has collapsed. “It’s Dantesque, as though we are in a war but not a single bomb has fallen,” one doctor in Venezuela told us in December, before the pandemic even hit.

Long before Venezuela confirmed its first case of covid-19, the country was facing a humanitarian emergency: Malnutrition was on the rise; vaccine-preventable diseases that had been eradicated, like measles and diphtheria, returned; and infectious diseases such as malaria and tuberculosis spiked. Health professionals struggled, as basic utilities blinked on and off at health-care facilities and many colleagues emigrated, driving a steady decline in health-care operational capacity.