Venezuelans are still eating their food at a time when their country’s health care system is falling apart, according to a report released Wednesday by a group of prominent experts and advocacy groups.
The Global Food and Agriculture Organization said the country has more than 5 million hungry people, nearly half of whom are underweight, and needs to grow food for a growing population.
It cited an increase in malnutrition and a lack of basic necessities such as bread and milk as major concerns.
The report comes as the U.S. and other nations have stepped up efforts to combat Venezuela’s chronic food shortages, with the U, European Union and other governments imposing sanctions on top officials and businesses.
The United States has imposed sanctions on the country’s top leaders and sanctioned five officials, including its vice president.
In January, the State Department sanctioned 15 Venezuelan officials, accusing them of “serious human rights violations, including human trafficking, human rights abuses, arbitrary arrest and detention and torture.”
The agency also imposed sanctions against 11 Venezuelan businessmen and businessmen linked to the oil sector, accusing some of involvement in human rights crimes.