Venezuela Regional Crisis - Fact Sheet #4 FY19

September 30, 2019

USG announces nearly $119 million in additional humanitarian funding for the Venezuela regional crisis response, including support to affected populations in Venezuela

USG provides $56 million to support humanitarian activities in Venezuela

New Ecuadorian visa requirement results in increase in Venezuelans in Ipiales, as well as informal entries from Colombia to Ecuador

Numbers At A Glance

4.3 million

Estimated Venezuelans Outside of Venezuela

5.3 million

Projected Number of Venezuelans Outside Venezuela by December 2019

7 million

Number of People in Venezuela in Need of Humanitarian Assistance

2.6 million

Number of People Targeted for Humanitarian Assistance by the Venezuela HRP

Humanitarian Funding

FOR THE VENEZUELA REGIONAL RESPONSE
IN FY 2017–2018

USAID/OFDA $117,216,061
USAID/FFP $147,079,357
State/PRM $208,206,327
TOTAL $472,501,745

 

On September 23, U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo announced nearly $119 million in additional U.S. Government (USG) humanitarian funding to support efforts to respond to the Venezuela regional crisis, including inside of Venezuela. The funding—comprising more than $78.8 million from State/PRM, nearly $21.3 million from USAID/FFP, and more than $18.6 million from USAID/OFDA—will enable non-governmental organization (NGO), public international organization (PIO), and UN partners to continue providing critical multi-sector support to vulnerable populations.

In FY 2019, the USG provided more than $368 million in humanitarian assistance to support communities affected by the Venezuela regional crisis, bringing the total amount of USG humanitarian funding since FY 2017 to nearly $473 million. The assistance includes more than $56 million to support immediate relief activities inside of Venezuela.

The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has warned that if economic, political, and social conditions in Venezuela do not improve, populations will continue to depart the country. Drawing on interviews with Venezuelans residing across the region, the report notes ongoing food scarcity and unaffordability and the dire health situation as key humanitarian issues in the country.

The implementation of the Government of Ecuador’s (GoE) new requirement that all Venezuelans must apply for humanitarian visas prior to entering Ecuador has contributed to an increase of Venezuelans residing on the Colombian side of the Rumichaca International Bridge in Nariño Department’s Ipiales city, as well as an uptick in informal crossings into Ecuador. In response, relief agencies have increased humanitarian programming in Ipiales, particularly the distribution of food and relief commodities.

On September 3, officials from the governments of Chile, Ecuador, and Peru met in Ecuador’s capital city of Quito and announced plans to establish a mechanism for exchanging information received from Venezuelan applying for visas in the three countries. In particular, the countries plan to share lists of visa grantees and individuals whose applications were rejected to assist in managing migration flows. Additionally, the representatives agreed to set up a working group to further assess issues related to Venezuelan migration in the region, according to international media.

As of early September, nearly 179,000 Venezuelans were residing in Brazil, according to the Regional Interagency Coordination Platform for Refugees and Migrants from Venezuela (R4V), led by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Venezuelan populations in Brazil require food assistance, shelter support, and water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) services, as well as livelihood opportunities, relief actors report. With more than $12.4 million in FY 2019 funding, USAID supports two NGO partners to distribute emergency food assistance and conduct livelihood, shelter, and WASH interventions among vulnerable populations in Brazil. Additionally, State/PRM provided nearly $18.7 million in humanitarian assistance in FY 2019 to support multi-sector response activities in Brazil.

On September 4, State/PRM partner Caritas held a livelihood training session—focused on communications, digital tools, finance, leadership, negotiating, and networking skills—for 100 people in Rondônia State’s Porto Velho city. Additionally, Caritas held an event on the same date with several faith-based organizations in Roraima State’s Boa Vista city for deaf migrants to support integration efforts.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) upgraded water facilities at a church, hospital, and school in Roraima, improving access to safe drinking water for 2,500 people, from January to June. Additionally, ICRC provided communication services in the state, enabling Venezuelans to conduct more than 134,000 phone calls to relatives, access the internet, and charge communication devices.

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 R4V. In FY 2019, the USG provided more than $160 million to support food, health, multipurpose cash assistance (MPCA), nutrition, protection, and WASH interventions for vulnerable Venezuelans, Colombian returnees, and host community members in Colombia.

Following the recent GoE implementation of a visa requirement for Venezuelans, relief actors have reported an increase in Venezuelans residing near the Colombian side of the Rumichaca bridge, as well as an expansion of informal entries by Venezuelan into Ecuador, leading to additional protection risks for vulnerable migrants. Additionally, many Venezuelans in Ipiales lack access to shelter and other basic services due to limited local capacity, and are vulnerable to cold temperatures and protection risks. In response to increasing needs, USAID partner the UN World Food Program (WFP) has expanded hot meals operations in Ipiales. The Colombian Red Cross has also established family reunification points, scaled up health services, and pre-positioned relief commodities, such as blankets, for migrant populations. Additionally, State/PRM partner Pastoral Social provided shelter kits and food items to vulnerable Venezuelans at Rumichaca and facilitated family unification by providing transport to approximately 150 Venezuelans who had returned to Colombia from Ecuador.

With approximately $4.4 million in additional assistance for Colombia, USAID supports the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) to deliver essential health care and WASH services to Venezuelans in the country. PAHO is improving communities’ access to health services, safe drinking water, and basic sanitation; increasing disease surveillance activities; and strengthening local emergency management and response capacities.

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, which aim to meet approximately 70 percent of household monthly food needs for three months.

From August 1 to 15, a USAID 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.

From August 27 to 30, State/PRM partner the Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) delivered food vouchers and psychosocial support to nearly 20 households in Arauca, as well as legal support on immigration procedures to more than 70 Venezuelans in La Guajira’s Maicao municipality. PADF also installed five television monitors to broadcast information about accessing legal services and an anti-discrimination campaign in various health centers and hospitals in La Guajira’s Maicao and Riohacha municipalities.

From September 1 to 9, PADF provided communication, legal, school registration, and vaccination support for Venezuelans in Atlántico’s Barranquilla municipality. PADF also coordinated with local authorities to conduct an employment workshop for Venezuelans in Arauca from September 5 to 6. The activities reached at least 200 people in the two departments.

Approximately 330,000 Venezuelans were residing in Ecuador as of early September, according to the R4V. Priority needs among Venezuelan populations include access to food, livelihood opportunities, legal information, psychosocial support services, immigration support, and shelter, humanitarian organizations report. In FY 2019, the USG provided nearly $44.7 million to support the delivery of multi-sector support, including emergency food assistance, in Ecuador.

In mid-September, the GoE announced plans for a forthcoming measure allowing Venezuelans and other non-Ecuadorians to travel through the country en route to another country for up to 20 days, provided that transiting individuals possess a valid visa for the destination country, international media report. The GoE underscored that the permit, which will be available upon request and free of charge at official border crossings, will be available to Venezuelans but is not intended to serve as a visa for Ecuador or facilitate longer-term stays in the country.

In August, WFP reached approximately 99,900 people with food assistance across 10 of Ecuador’s 24 provinces, bringing the total number of individuals reached since January to more than 278,000 people. WFP activities include delivering monthly food vouchers to vulnerable groups, such as pregnant and lactating women, households with young children, and older people; providing food kits at migration checkpoints; and distributing hot meals at shelters and community kitchens.

From September 2 to 6, State/PRM partner Jesuit Relief Services (JRS) provided legal services to nearly 150 Venezuelans and Colombians and distributed more than 200 relief kits—including education, food, health, and hygiene items—to vulnerable households in Ecuador.

Nearly all surveyed Venezuelans in Paraguay intend to remain in country, according to a recent study by State/PRM partner IOM. The study was the UN agency’s first survey of Venezuelans in Paraguay and aimed to identify humanitarian needs and migratory statuses. An estimated 50 percent of participants reported entering the country as tourists, while more than 30 percent had permanent residence permits; nearly 10 percent maintained temporary residence permits. Surveyed populations reporting a need for livelihood opportunities and legal and immigration support. Approximately 50 percent of interviewed Venezuelans were employed and more than 30 percent were unemployed. As of early September, the RV4 had recorded 500 Venezuelans in Paraguay.

During the first two weeks of September, State/PRM partners IOM and RET International conducted a survey of approximately 150 Venezuelans ages 18 years and older in Peru’s Tacna city, Tacna Region, near the Peru–Chile border. The city has experienced an increase in its Venezuelan population in recent months as individuals sought to obtain a visa to enter Chile from the country’s consulate in Tacna; however, as of mid-August, Venezuelans seeking to obtain a visa to Chile have had to apply for the document in Peru’s capital city of Lima. The majority of surveyed individuals—97 percent—reported intentions to travel to Chile, with more than 40 percent indicating remaining in Peru as a second option; IOM and RET International reported that an estimated 40 percent of respondents did not have a second option for a destination country. Approximately 60 percent of respondents noted having at least one individual younger than 18 years of age in their care and 60 percent were women. In addition, at least 80 percent of surveyed individuals required food assistance, nearly 80 percent required temporary shelter support, and approximately 30 percent needed access to medicines at the time of the survey. While humanitarian organizations continue to meet the short-term needs of Venezuelan populations in Tacna, IOM and RET International underscored the need for longer-term solutions for affected individuals. Nearly 861,000 Venezuelans had migrated to Peru as of early September, according to the R4V. The USG provided nearly $28.3 million to respond to humanitarian needs in Peru in FY 2019.

In August, USAID partner Save the Children/U.S. (SC/US) provided nearly 2,900 vulnerable individuals with MPCA across Peru’s Arequipa, Lambayeque, Lima, and Piura regions. The NGO also assisted approximately 1,200 adults through nutrition and child protection messaging and more than 400 children through child-friendly spaces (CFS) in Peru’s Arequipa, La Libertad, Lambayeque, Lima, and Piura regions during the month. From June to August, SC/US reached an estimated 12,400 people across the five regions.

From August 1 to 31, USAID partner World Vision provided hot meals to more than 900 people in La Libertad, Lima, and Tumbes regions. World Vision added three community kitchens during the month, and currently operates 10 community kitchens in Peru with USAID support. In the coming months, World Vision plans to increase the number of hot meals available to host community members who meet modified vulnerability criteria.

With State/PRM support, PADF continues to promote social integration of Venezuelans in Peru. The organization supports integration activities in Lima, including the creation of a mural by Venezuelans and Peruvians from the local community and a play, which was attended by 160 people and highlighted the challenges Venezuelans face in Peru. PADF also screened a video featuring legal advice for Venezuelan in Lima’s Puente Piedra District; the screenings reached an estimated 400 people.

During FYs 2018–2019, the USG provided more than $56 million to meet emergency needs in Venezuela. The assistance supports PIOs, UN agencies, international 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 CFS and conducting gender-based violence (GBV) prevention awareness sessions.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) delivered 34 tons of medicines and medical supplies to Venezuela on July 31. The consignment—provided by the Italian Red Cross with support from the Government of Italy Ministry of Foreign Affairs and private donors—represents an additional shipment of supplies toward IFRC’s $50.4 million emergency appeal for Venezuela, which aims to assist approximately 650,000 people in the country with health care services over a 12-month period. IFRC plans to deliver the commodities to health care centers in Venezuela, including facilities supported by the Venezuelan Red Cross, as part of efforts to scale up its health carefocused efforts in the country.

A July 4 OHCHR report warns of the likely continued outflow of Venezuelans and deterioration of living conditions of those remaining in Venezuela if economic, political, and social conditions inside the country do not improve. The report—which covers the period from January 2018 to May 2019 and draws from discussions with nearly 560 Venezuelans living across the crisis-affected region—highlights key humanitarian issues, including that food scarcity and unaffordability have resulted in consumption of fewer meals, frequently of low nutritional value, among affected populations. As such, the crisis has resulted in high levels of malnutrition among children and pregnant women. OHCHR also emphasized the dire health situation in Venezuela, including lack of regular and reliable electricity, medicine, staff, and supplies in hospitals.

A June 14 PAHO report regarding the health crisis in Venezuela underscored the multitude of challenges affecting the Venezuelan health care system, including limited medical supplies, as well as the migration of key health care workers out of Venezuela. PAHO emphasized the need to address immediate health care concerns of populations in Venezuela by ensuring access to medicine and bolstering operational capacity, while also identifying medium-term solutions to strengthen the country’s health care system. Additionally, PAHO continues to record new confirmed measles cases in countries affected by the regional crisis, and reported nearly 450 cases across Venezuela in 2019 as of September 25.

Deteriorating economic and political conditions—characterized by hyperinflation—in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela since 2014 have decreased households’ access to food, medicine, and health care; contributed to increasing humanitarian needs; and triggered an influx of Venezuelans into neighboring countries, including Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru. More than 400,000 Venezuelans have applied for asylum globally since 2014.

The population influx has increased in the past years and is straining available services, especially in border areas of Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru. Recent assessments indicate that food, health care, and WASH support are among the most urgent humanitarian needs of vulnerable populations, including Venezuelans, returnees, and host communities in border regions. The outflow of people from Venezuela is also contributing to increased public health concerns throughout the region, particularly with regard to the spread of infectious diseases.

In addition to supporting ongoing regional response activities, USAID and State/PRM staff based throughout the region and in Washington, D.C., are monitoring the humanitarian situation in close coordination with relevant host governments, donor governments, non-governmental organizations, and UN counterparts.

The most effective way people can assist relief efforts is by making cash contributions to humanitarian organizations that are conducting relief operations. A list of humanitarian organizations that are accepting cash donations for disaster responses around the world can be found at www.interaction.org.

USAID encourages cash donations because they allow aid professionals to procure the exact items needed (often in the affected region); reduce the burden on scarce resources (such as transportation routes, staff time, and warehouse space); can be transferred very quickly and without transportation costs; support the economy of the disaster-stricken region; and ensure culturally, dietarily, and environmentally appropriate assistance.

More information can be found at:

  • USAID Center for International Disaster Information: www.cidi.org or +1.202.661.7710.
  • Information on relief activities of the humanitarian community can be found at www.reliefweb.int.

Last updated: October 03, 2019

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