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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 is responding to a complex emergency stemming from an economic and political crisis in Venezuela, and its impact on regional countries, including Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru.

The United States has provided a total of more than $1 billion in emergency humanitarian assistance inside Venezuela and support for vulnerable Venezuelans and the communities hosting them across the region. The assistance supports international and local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and public international organizations—including UN agencies—to implement critical food; health; nutrition; protection; and water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) activities inside Venezuela; and for Venezuelan migrants and refugees and host communities in Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and others in the Latin America and Caribbean region.

The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated humanitarian needs inside Venezuela, and USAID partners have adjusted programs to prioritize life-saving humanitarian assistance.  With USAID funding, partners are providing primary health services, improving access to basic medical supplies and medicines, training health care workers, and supporting prenatal and pediatric consultations, malaria treatment, and ongoing immunization efforts to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. USAID partners are also implementing water, sanitation, and hygiene interventions, including the provision of safe drinking water, distribution of hygiene kits, repairs to handwashing stations, latrines, and incinerators at health centers to help prevent the spread of infection, and support for hygiene promotion activities. 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, 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.

Related Sectors of Work 

Last updated: November 20, 2020

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