At least 8 million Venezuelans would migrate during 2019, study reveals

CARACAS – A study carried out by economists Dany Bahar and Douglas Barrios, from Harvard University, reveals that at least 8.2 million Venezuelan citizens would leave during 2019 from the borders of their country to escape the economic and political crisis that Venezuela is experiencing.

More than 3 million Venezuelans are outside the country, according to the United Nations (UN). According to the study of economists, the figure to 8.2 million due to a deepening of the economic crisis, especially due to a greater contraction in revenues from concepts of oil, the only Venezuelan economic support.

Without a productive agricultural apparatus, the Venezuelan government has been forced to import food in recent years and sell it through social programs to the population.

“If during 2019 some variables remain at their current level (oil production, oil price and total value of annual remittances) the total number of Venezuelan migrants could reach more than 8 million. Is someone preparing this?” tweeted Barrios.

The figure calculated by economists includes the 3 million citizens already outside of Venezuela registered by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) in November. If the calculation materializes, “the Venezuelan tragedy would eventually overcome the Syrian refugee crisis,” argue Venezuelan specialists based in the United States.

The instrument used for the study calculates the amount of calories that could be imported into the country according to the income of three factors: oil production, price of crude oil and the income of remittances.

In this sense, the base scenario establishes a production of 1.17 million barrels per day, with a value of 53 dollars and a remittance income of 2,400 dollars. All these numbers according to the projections of the last year.

Even so, they warn that the calculation is made under the premise that the import system works without problems. In the event resources are diverted or not allocated clearly to bring food, the figure could be higher.

However, the proposed model does not take into account variables that can change the migration flow, as well as people who can not emigrate because of their scarcity of resources to travel. This model aims to “indicate” the “potential scale” of the largest migration wave in Venezuelan history.–MercoPress

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