The U.S. is providing humanitarian assistance for people fleeing crisis in Venezuela.
The U.S. is providing humanitarian assistance for people fleeing crisis in Venezuela.

Key Developments

USAID's 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 economic and political crisis in Venezuela, and its impact on neighboring countries, including BrazilColombiaEcuador, and Peru.

On September 23, U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo announced nearly $119 million in additional U.S. Government humanitarian funding to support efforts to respond to the Venezuela regional crisis. The funding—comprising approximately $78.8 million from State/PRM, nearly $21.3 million from USAID/FFP, and more than $18.6 million from USAID/OFDA—will enable impartial relief agencies--including international and local organizations and UN partners-- to continue providing critical support to vulnerable populations both inside Venezuela and throughout the region.

In total, the U.S. Government provided more than $56 million in Fiscal Years 2018-2019 to meet emergency needs inside Venezuela. The assistance supports public international organizations, UN agencies, international non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and local NGOs to implement emergency food, health, nutrition, protection, and WASH activities.

With USAID funding, partners are providing primary health services, improving access to basic medical supplies and medicines, training health care workers, and supporting malaria treatment and immunization efforts to prevent the spread of infectious diseases, including diphtheria, measles, and rubella. USAID partners are also implementing WASH interventions, including distributing hygiene kits, conducting hygiene promotion activities, providing safe drinking water, improving solid waste management, and repairing sanitation facilities at health centers. Additionally, USAID is funding partners to provide hot meals to vulnerable Venezuelans in community kitchens and schools, prevent and treat malnutrition, and implement protection programs, including creating child-friendly spaces and conducting gender-based violence prevention awareness sessions.


Since 2014, deteriorating economic and political conditions in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela—marked by devastating hyperinflation—have contributed to increasing humanitarian needs. The 2019 UN Humanitarian Response Plan identified health, water, sanitation, and hygiene as urgent needs inside Venezuela. 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 water, sanitation, and hygiene support are among the most urgent humanitarian needs of Venezuelans and host communities in border regions.

Related Sectors of Work 

Last updated: October 28, 2019

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