Susan Schulman

Freelance journalist, and regular IRIN contributor

Venezuela has the largest proven oil reserves in the world and yet, despite suffering no conflict, its people have been fleeing on a scale and at a rate comparable in recent memory only to Syrians at the height of the civil war and the Rohingya from Myanmar.

Millions have escaped the economic meltdown since 2015 and started afresh in Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru. But what of the many millions more who remain.

In late August and early September, journalist Susan Schulman spent two weeks travelling across Venezuela, covering 1,400 kilometres from Carupano in the east to Tucuco in the far west, reporting on the impact of the crisis.

Her stories reveal a desperate population struggling to survive pervasive hunger, the resurgence of disease, and the absence of medicines – in sum, an acute humanitarian crisis denied by its own government.


Venezuela’s doctors and patients share tales of despair and dismay

Drugs and doctors are harder and harder to come by, and shortages of water and electricity help disease and death to thrive


Hunger and survival in Venezuela

Millions have fled Venezuela’s economic meltdown, but for millions more who remain no part of life remains untouched by the crisis, even death


A vicious circle


Meet the people across the country who are struggling to survive as supplies of basic food items and medicines run out.



A woman with her hand covering her crying

In photos: Life and death in Venezuela’s depleted hospitals

A rare glimpse inside Venezuela’s healthcare system reveals barren clinics, desperate patients, and despairing doctors







“Worse off than a war zone”: Inside Venezuela’s healthcare crisis

Drugs shortages, micro-NGOs, and a social media black market