The Central Bank of Venezuela, or BCV, said the country has $10.5 billion in foreign reserves, mostly in gold, which amounts to a 66 percent decrease since 2011.
Venezuela has $7.2 billion in outstanding debt payments for the rest of 2017. In 2011, the South American country had about $30 billion in reserves and it had about $20 billion in 2015, BCV records show.
Venezuela is facing a political and economic crisis in which basic goods such as food and medicine are in short supply, unavailable or not affordable. The United Nation’s Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean predicts Venezuela’s gross domestic product will decrease 4 percent in 2017, while the International Monetary Fund estimates inflation will increase 1,600 percent.
A survey found that nearly 75 percent of the population lost an average of at least 19 pounds in 2016 due to a lack of proper nutrition amid the economic crisis.
About $7.7 billion of Venezuela’s $10.5 billion in foreign reserves is made up of gold. Early last year, Venezuela sold more than 40 tons of gold — about $1.7 billion — to pay debts.