Venezuela Regional Crisis

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.
AFP PHOTO / GEORGE CASTELLANOS

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.

On September 25, U.S. Vice President Pence announced more than $48 million in additional USG humanitarian assistance in response to the Venezuela regional crisis, including approximately $21.6 million in U.S. Department of State Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (State/PRM) funds, $18.8 million in USAID/FFP funds, and $7.8 million in USAID/OFDA funds. The USAID funding includes approximately $18.6 million for food, health, nutrition, and livelihoods assistance for more than 144,000 vulnerable individuals in Colombia affected by the Venezuelan regional crisis; $6 million in food assistance for nearly 25,000 food-insecure people in Ecuador; and $2 million in food assistance for approximately 6,600 vulnerable Venezuelans and host community members in Brazil. The announced funds bring the USG humanitarian assistance total to nearly $97 million since FY 2017.

Public health concerns persist throughout the Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) region, including the spread of measles and diphtheria. As of early September, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) confirmed 5,300 measles cases in Venezuela from the commencement of the outbreak in July 2017 to early September 2018. In addition, PAHO recorded more than 1,200 confirmed cases of diphtheria, including more than 200 associated deaths, from July 2016 to early September 2018.

Background

Deteriorating economic and political conditions in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela since 2014 have contributed to increasing humanitarian needs and triggered an influx of Venezuelans into neighboring countries, including Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Trinidad and Tobago, in recent months. Economic conditions inside Venezuela are projected to worsen in the coming months, and international media recently reported an unofficial inflation rate of approximately 27,000 percent. State/PRM estimates that more than 2 million Venezuelans have left the country since 2014, with displacement projected to continue during 2018.

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.

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Last updated: February 15, 2019

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