Poverty at record high in Venezuela. A woman waits in line to check out at the Dia a Dia supermarket in the Propatria neighborhood of Caracas, Venezuela. Popular items with government fixed prices that have been running short are coffee, cooking oil, precooked corn flour, sugar, milk, toilet paper, disposable diapers, detergent and fabric softener, among other items. Photo: AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos

TODAY VENEZUELA – In a public statement, the Venezuelan National Academy of Economic Sciences (ANCE) has brought forward a series of economic proposals in order to “overcome continued deterioration in Venezuelans’ living conditions and the visible unwillingness to amend the causing policies by the Executive Office.”

The scholars deemed it necessary to address themselves to the nation, as “the dire inflation rate, the highest in the world in the past three years, impoverishes the people in worrisome terms.”

The text, signed by Humberto García Larralde (president) and Sary Levy Carciente (secretary), refers to the Survey on Venezuelans’ Living Conditions (Encovi), conducted in tandem by Andrés Bello Catholic University, Central University of Venezuela and Simón Bolívar University.

The findings could not be more alarming: the poverty rate, already very high in 2015 (73%), hits 81.8% of households, the first ever recorded in Venezuelan modern history. More than half Venezuelans are in extreme poverty (51.5%). Altogether, only 18.2% of families are not poor.”

The Academy suggests to reduce “urgently” the State fiscal deficit, remove monetary financing, unify the exchange rate at its real values and unleash the production forces to meet the needs in the domestic market.

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Article originally appeared on Today Venezuela and is republished here with permission.