The president of the World Bank (WB), David Malpass, confirmed on Thursday that the multilateral institution is working to assist in the "serious humanitarian crisis" in Venezuela "as the situation evolves."
"Venezuela is a big concern for all of us, including the World Bank. (...) We will be involved as the situation evolves and the Bank is preparing for that, but the situation is complicated on the ground," Malpass said. his first press conference as top manager of the BM.
Malpass regretted that the "serious humanitarian crisis" in the South American country has led families to have problems "even to feed themselves daily", a situation that he recognized that he worries "a lot".
Last week, the chief economist of the World Bank for Latin America and the Caribbean, Carlos Végh, announced that the multilateral organization is preparing an "ambitious" social assistance plan to launch in Venezuela when there are "adequate conditions".
"The bank is preparing a highly ambitious social assistance plan, which will be made available to the Venezuelan authorities as soon as the right conditions are met," Végh said at a press conference when presenting the WB forecast report for Latin America.
Regarding whether the World Bank wants to recognize Juan Guaidó as the legitimate president of Venezuela after the opposition leader proclaimed himself as such last January, Malpass pointed out that the "shareholders" will decide on the matter.
Malpass, proposed by the US president, Donald Trump, was confirmed for his position on April 5 to head the agency for a period of five years.
In the report presented last Thursday in Washington, the World Bank considered that Venezuela is experiencing "the worst crisis in the modern history of the region", predicting that its GDP will contract this year an additional 25%, after a fall in 17.7% in 2018.
The World Bank noted that Venezuela's socioeconomic conditions "continue to deteriorate rapidly" due to the fall in the price of oil, the "highly distorting" policies of the regime, a disorderly fiscal adjustment and economic mismanagement.
Real GDP in Venezuela contracted by 17.7% in 2018 and is likely to fall by 25% in 2019, according to the WB forecast, which would imply a cumulative GDP fall of 60% since 2013.
The annual inflation rate reached 1,370,000% at the end of 2018, due to the cumulative effect of a monthly rate of 121%, according to the World Bank, which calculates that this year the increase in prices will reach 10,000,000%.