The United Nations estimates that 1.9 million people in Venezuela need nutrition assistance, of whom the vast majority – 1.3 million – are children under the age of 5.

These are cases that require urgent care among the 7 million Venezuelans who day by day need help in getting enough food to put on the table, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Geneva said Friday in response to questions by the media.

According to the organization’s records, the most painful lack of food is to be found in the southern part of the country and in the western states of Zulia and Lara.

As for health, the UN noted that 2.8 million people require medical attention, including 1.1 million children under the age of 5, while 4.3 million are without essential water and sanitation services and 2.7 million citizens in the country need some kind of protection or other basic services.

In late 2018, the UN launched an expanded aid plan for Venezuela that required $109.5 million in financing, for which donations covering 45 percent of that sum have been collected to date.

Between January and April of this year, the United Nations distributed aid for the care of mothers and their newborn babies, along with nutritional support for minors, and maintains its support for some 10 schools in terms of water, sanitation and hygiene.

It has also continued HIV treatment for more than 12,000 people and has offered tens of thousands of food rations to migrants on the road, either to other parts of Venezuela or to neighboring countries.

Earlier Friday, a spokeswoman for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Geneva said that five demonstrators have died and 239 have been wounded in the course of protests in Venezuela following the uprising headed by opposition leader Juan Guaido.

Those who died were shot by pro-government groups, raising to 49 the number of protesters against the Nicolas Maduro government killed so far this year, according to figures provided by spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani.

She also reported that at least 10 journalists were wounded while covering the May 1 protests, five by gunfire. is-abc/cd

© 2019 EFE News Services (U.S.) Inc.

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