Colombia Crisis
USAID is providing humanitarian assistance in Colombia for vulnerable Venezuelans fleeing crisis in their country

Key Developments

USAID's Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) and Office of Food for Peace (USAID/FFP) are responding to a complex emergency stemming from an influx of people fleeing an economic and political crisis in Venezuela to neighboring countries, including BrazilColombia, Ecuador, and Peru.

More than 1.4 million Venezuelans were residing in Colombia as of early September, many of whom are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance, according to the Regional Interagency Coordination Platform for Refugees and Migrants from Venezuela, led by the International Organization for Migration and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. In FY 2019, the U.S. Government provided more than $160 million to support food, health, multipurpose cash assistance, nutrition, protection, and WASH interventions for vulnerable Venezuelans, Colombian returnees, and host community members in Colombia.

USAID partner the UN World Food Program (WFP) reached more than 271,000 Venezuelans, Colombian returnees and members of mixed households, and host community members in Colombia’s Atlántico, Arauca, Cesar, La Guajira, Magdalena, Nariño, and Norte de Santander departments in August. The total includes more than 152,000 individuals who received hot meals in community kitchens, an estimated 82,700 people reached with food vouchers, and 19,500 vulnerable individuals who received food kits. With more than $15 million in additional FY 2019 funding, USAID is supporting WFP to continue providing hot meals and food kits to Venezuelans in Colombia, as well as food vouchers.

From August 1 to 15, a USAID non-governmental organization (NGO) partner provided nearly 1,400 medical consultations and 35 maternal health trainings—reaching more than 1,100 people—in Antioquia Department’s Medellín city and Santander Department’s Bucaramanga city. The NGO also distributed an estimated 700 hygiene vouchers and nearly 450 kitchen vouchers during the reporting period. Additionally, the partner conducted nearly 60 hand washing awareness sessions for nearly 1,300 people and 20 psychological consultations in the two cities. The activities reached approximately 5,100 people in Bucaramanga and Medellín during the reporting period.


Since 2014, deteriorating economic and political conditions in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela—marked by devastating hyperinflation—have contributed to increasing humanitarian needs. Severe food and medicine shortages have triggered an influx of Venezuelans into neighboring countries, including Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Trinidad and Tobago. The UN estimates that more than 4.3 million Venezuelans have left their country since 2014, with displacement projected to reach at least 5.3 million by the end of 2019.

The population influx is straining the capacity of services, particularly in border areas of Brazil and Colombia. Recent assessments indicate food, health care services, nutrition assistance, and WASH support are among the most urgent humanitarian needs of Venezuelans and host communities in border regions.

USAID/OFDA is supporting the Venezuela complex emergency regional response. Please visit our web page for additional information.

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Last updated: October 07, 2019

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