Colombia

Colombia Crisis
USAID is providing humanitarian assistance in Colombia for vulnerable Venezuelans fleeing crisis in their country
AFP PHOTO / GEORGE CASTELLANOS

Key Developments

USAID is responding to a complex emergency stemming from an influx of people fleeing an economic and political crisis in Venezuela to neighboring countries, including Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru.

Approximately 1.8 million Venezuelans were residing in Colombia as of September, many of whom are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance, heightened due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  In FY 2020, the U.S. Government has provided more than $200 million to support food, emergency health care including COVID-19 response, multipurpose cash assistance, nutrition, protection, and water, sanitation, and hygiene interventions for vulnerable Venezuelans, Colombian returnees, and host community members in Colombia.

Background

Since 2014, deteriorating economic and political conditions in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela—marked by devastating hyperinflation, shortages of basic medicines, and limited food availability—have contributed to increasing humanitarian needs.  The 2020 UN Humanitarian Response Plan identified food security, health, nutrition, and protection as urgent needs inside Venezuela.  Severe food and medicine shortages have contributed to extensive outmigration and an influx of Venezuelans into other countries in the region, primarily to Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru, as well as smaller populations to Argentina, Mexico, Panama, and several Caribbean and Central American countries. The UN estimates that nearly 5.1 million Venezuelans have left their country since 2014, with displacement projected to reach 6.5 million by the end of 2020.

The population influx is straining the capacity of public services in some host communities, particularly in border areas of Brazil and Colombia.  Recent assessments indicate food, health care services, nutrition assistance, protection, and WASH support are among the most urgent humanitarian needs of Venezuelans and host communities in border regions, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Last updated: October 09, 2020

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