UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The United Nations says an estimated 2.3 million Venezuelans had fled the country as of June, mainly to Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Brazil.
U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters Tuesday that those fleeing cited lack of food as the main reason for leaving Venezuela, which has a population of 32.8 million.
He said U.N. humanitarian officials report that 1.3 million of those who fled suffer malnourishment.
Dujarric also said severe shortages of basic medicines and medical supplies in Venezuela "have led to a sharp deterioration of the quality of hospitals."
U.N. officials say more than 100,000 HIV/AIDS patients are "at risk" due to lack of access to necessary medication.
And Dujarric said formerly eradicated diseases including measles, malaria, tuberculosis and diphtheria "are present and on the rise."