Venezuela asks the UN to help boost supply of medicines

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro has asked for help from the United Nations to boost supplies of medicine.

Mr Maduro said the UN had the expertise to normalise the supply and distribution of drugs in the country.

Venezuela's Medical Federation said recently that hospitals had less than 5% of the medicines they needed.

The president blames the problems on an economic war against his government and the sharp fall in oil prices.

``I've asked for support from the United Nations to help treat the economic and social injuries that have hit our people,'' he said Friday on television.

The opposition says Mr Maduro's mismanagement is to blame for the country's worsening economic crisis.

Shortages of food and many other essential items mean Venezuelans have to face long queues almost daily to buy basic goods.

Medicines are no exception.

Correspondents say Mr Maduro's acknowledgement that Venezuela needs outside help is indicative of the dire situation the country is in, despite having some of the largest oil reserves in the world.

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