Hunger in the land of plenty: The complex humanitarian crisis in Venezuela

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Oil-rich Venezuela is being hit by the largest crisis in living memory. Now, more than 4.8 million Venezuelans have fled the country in search of food and safety. News about migration and humanitarian aid dominate. Yet, many Venezuelans stay and seek alternative strategies to cope with scarcity and insecurity. Ad hoc solutions mainly depend on alternative economies in the borderlands that do not always fit within frameworks of human rights and rule of law, but do provide relief and produce opportunities along with new inequalities that (un)willingly sustain the crisis. Amid collapsing state infrastructures, these transborder economies tie into the global trade of basic supplies, narcotics, drugs, natural resources and human trafficking that operate in the interface of the legal and the illegal. The complex humanitarian crisis in Venezuela is as much about poverty and scarcity as it is about wealth and abundance benefiting only a very few. An ‘anthropology of abundance’ allows us to grasp these underlying socio-economic dynamics that turn crisis management into crisis maintenance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8-12
Number of pages5
JournalAnthropology Today
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 3 Apr 2020


  • Venezuela
  • natural resources
  • transnational crime
  • anthropology
  • abundance
  • gold
  • humanitarian crisis
  • Brazil
  • Colombia


Dive into the research topics of 'Hunger in the land of plenty: The complex humanitarian crisis in Venezuela'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this