The ongoing political and economic crisis in Venezuela has driven more than 4.3 million Venezuelans to flee the country since 2014. USAID's Office of Food for Peace (FFP) is responding to the complex crisis in Venezuela and neighboring host countries, including Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru.
As of September, an estimated 4.3 million Venezuelans had left Venezuela since 2014 due to the regional crisis, according to the Regional Interagency Coordination Platform for Refugees and Migrants from Venezuela, led by the International Organization for Migration and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. Of the overall total, approximately 3.5 million Venezuelans were in countries across Latin America and the Caribbean.
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 650,000 Venezuelans have applied for asylum globally since 2014.
The population movement 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 water, sanitation, and hygiene support are among the most urgent humanitarian needs of vulnerable populations, including Venezuelans 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 overburdened health care systems and the spread of infectious diseases.
FFP partners with the UN World Food Program (WFP) and non-government organizations (NGOs) in Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru to respond to food needs resulting from the Venezuela regional crisis, providing emergency food assistance to Venezuelans sheltering in and transiting through the region and host community members. Additionally, FFP partners with NGOs in Venezuela to provide emergency food assistance to the most food-insecure Venezuelans affected by the political and economic crisis.
In FY 2019, FFP provided more than $119.8 million in humanitarian food aid in Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela, including the distribution of food vouchers redeemable in local supermarkets, support for community kitchens feeding vulnerable Venezuelans and host community members, and provision of one-time emergency food assistance packages to vulnerable Venezuelans.