Peter Walker

Venezuelan parents are giving up their children to survive as the South American country’s suffers with a catastrophic economic crisis.

Three local councils and four national welfare groups say there is an increase in parents handing kids over to the state, charities, friends and family.

A baby boy was recently found abandoned inside a bag in capital Caracas and a malnourished one-year-old boy was found in a cardboard box in Ciudad Guayana in recent months.

The trend is an indictment of Venezuela’s triple-digit inflation and near 80 per cent currency collapse over the last year.

“This is written in the bible. We’re living in the end of times,” said Zulay Pulgar, who gave her six-year-old daughter to a neighbour in October. “It’s better that she has another family than go into prostitution, drugs or die of hunger.”

The mother-of-seven and her unemployed husband live on his father’s $6-a-month pension.

The 43-year-old told the Reuters news agency that one chicken meal costs half their monthly income. All they eat is bread, coffee and rice, she said.

Nany Garcia, the 54-year-old neighbour who took the girl in, works in a grocery shop and has five children of her own.

“My husband, my children and I teach her to behave, how to study, to dress, to talk… She now calls me ‘mum’ and my husband ‘dad’,” she said.

Read More at Independent.