Since 2014, deteriorating economic and political conditions in Venezuela—marked by devastating hyperinflation, shortages of basic medicine, and limited food availability—have contributed to escalating humanitarian needs. These dire circumstances have spurred an exodus of migrants to surrounding countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. The migrants encountered further challenges following their arrival, such as xenophobia, unemployment, and issues accessing basic services. They also place additional strains on host communities already struggling with COVID-19 and other ongoing issues.

In fiscal year (FY) 2021, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) responded with more than $377 million in funding for the Venezuela regional crisis, targeting areas such as food security, health, and economic recovery, among others. Beyond meeting acute humanitarian needs, USAID recognized that confronting this crisis requires building long-term resilience through new and innovative ways of thinking about development. Equitable, inclusive, and sustainable responses to the challenges, both inside Venezuela and across the region, must be built upon the priorities, knowledge, lived experiences, aspirations, and expertise of the people who confront them every day.

The BetterTogether/JuntosEsMejor Challenge, jointly led by USAID and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), identified, funded, and strengthened ground-breaking solutions to one or more aspects of the Venezuelan crisis. 

13 million in funding; 33 solutions implemented; 555,000 lives improved

The JuntosEsMejor/BetterTogether Challenge was implemented between September 2019 and September 2022. During that period, 33 solver organizations received 35 different awards, including 25 supported by USAID and ten by IDB. The challenge winners operated programs across ten countries: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Panama, Peru, Trinidad and Tobago, and Venezuela.

Learn more about the winners of the JuntosEsMejor Challenge and their impact.

Our Collective Impact

With JuntosEsMejor Challenge funding, 33 local organizations based in Venezuela and the surrounding countries to which migrants were forced to flee generated high-impact results while building long-term, sustainable solutions.

555,000 lives improved; 6622 people with increased access to the internet in Venezuela; 246,016 people with increased access to reliable financial services; 73,099 people with increase access to diverse news and information sources in Venezuela; 12 communities in Venezuela with increased access to clean water or improved food security; 2.5+ million reached through social media campaigns to reduce xenophobia toward Venezuelan immigrants

Grantees by the Numbers

Given the diverse challenges faced by Venezuelans inside and beyond the country, the JuntosEsMejor/BetterTogether Challenge was launched as a one-year open call where solvers could apply from around the world. More than 1,200 applications were submitted and 33 organizations were selected for awards.

54% solvers new to USAID; 83% local solvers

Adoption and Scale

The JuntosEsMejor/BetterTogether Challenge provided customized support across a breadth of areas to help organizations establish long-term partnerships and attract additional investment to scale their innovations.

96% solvers that leveraged partner(s) for testing and scaling; 50% solutions that may be adopted by the public or provate sector; 84% solvers that are scaling their innovation post-USAID funding

Challenge Resources

The JuntosEsMejor/BetterTogether Challenge final report shines a spotlight on the considerable impact of the USAID-supported solver organizations funded by the challenge, as well as lessons learned to benefit future programs, especially those operating in non-permissive or crisis and conflict environments. The breadth of the challenge’s reach across geographies and technical sectors is a testament to the magnitude of the crisis, as well as the ingenuity of solvers from the affected communities and from across the globe.

Overall Resources