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Venezuela asks UN for help increasing dwindling medicine supply

By
Daniel Uria
Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro said he asked the United Nations for help to increase the supply of medicine in the country, as shortages have left some hospitals with less than five percent of the drugs needed.
 Photo by Cristian Hernández/EPA
Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro said he asked the United Nations for help to increase the supply of medicine in the country, as shortages have left some hospitals with less than five percent of the drugs needed. Photo by Cristian Hernández/EPA

March 25 (UPI) -- Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro asked the United Nations to help with the country's severe medicine shortages.

Maduro spoke on state-run television Friday, declaring he had asked the United Nations for help addressing shortages of medicine and other goods in Venezuela which he blamed on "the economic war and the fall in oil prices."

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"I've asked for support from the United Nations to help treat the economic and social injuries that have hit our people," he said.

The country's Medical Federation said hospitals had less than 5 percent of the medicine needed to properly treat patients.

State media reported that Maduro met with Jessica Faieta, assistant administrator and director for the U.N. Development Program in Latin America and the Caribbean, on Friday.

He did not clarify what kind of assistance he was seeking or if the United Nations had agreed to offer assistance, but he said the United Nations possessed the expertise to normalize the supply and distribution of medicine in the country.

"The United Nations has the most advanced and complete plans in the world to recover the pharmaceutical industry's production capacity and direct it toward medicines for the people," he said.

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