The World Bank Group stands ready to assist Venezuela, a member and shareholder of the institution, if the government asks for help in dealing with a punishing economic crisis, the bank’s top executive for Latin America said.
Jorge Familiar, World Bank vice president for Latin America and the Caribbean, told Reuters in an interview on Monday that the bank has had no engagement with Venezuela since it paid off past loans in 2008 under the late former President Hugo Chavez.
But Familiar said the bank’s officials have been intensely watching growing shortages of food and medicine this year as the oil exporting country sinks deeper into recession, sparking violent protests.
Familiar said that the multilateral lender would be ready to develop an engagement program for Venezuela, but it would need to be “invited” to do so by President Nicolas Maduro’s government.
“As with all shareholders of the institution, if the situation were to arise, we would be ready to engage with Venezuela,” Familiar said. “What we would need is for them to call us.” …