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Maduro says deal reached with Red Cross to send Venezuela aid

AFP  |  Caracas 

has announced an agreement with the International Committee of the to bring humanitarian aid into

The is enduring acute shortages of food, medicine and other basics, and Maduro is locked in a power struggle with the increasingly popular of the opposition,

In an about-face, Maduro said on national TV and radio that his government and the had agreed "to work together with UN agencies to bring into all the humanitarian aid that can be brought." Maduro denies that is suffering from a humanitarian crisis and blames US sanctions for its economic woes.

In January Guaido tried to lead a drive to bring in donated and medicine from and but the effort failed as the army, which is loyal to Maduro, blocked shipments at the border.

Maduro argued that letting in such assistance, much of it provided by the US, would be the first step towards a US intervention.

On Wednesday he said this new aid campaign should be "managed without political maneuvering, without farcical politicization and through the channels of legality and respect." The UN says a quarter of Venezuela's 30 million people are in urgent need of humanitarian aid.

A agency says 3.7 million Venezuelans are malnourished and 22 percent of children younger than age five suffer from

Besides the shortages of and medicine, Venezuela is saddled with hyperinflation that is running at an estimated 10 million percent this year. That leaves people's wages all but worthless.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, April 11 2019. 07:00 IST