Venezuela crisis: EU announces over €35 million in humanitarian and development assistance

European Commission - Press release
Brussels, 7 June 2018

EU steps up assistance to help those affected by the Venezuela crisis.

The socio-economic situation in Venezuela continues to deteriorate with dire consequences both in Venezuela and the neighbouring countries. To respond to this situation, the Commission announces today a package of €35.1 million in emergency aid and medium-term development assistance to support the Venezuelan people and the neighbouring countries affected by this crisis.

High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini said: "Venezuela and Europe have always been incredibly close. We have cultural, historic and family ties with them. Our peoples are friends and partners. This new package is for those who are in the country and those who fled. Venezuela's neighbours are showing great solidarity: we are with them, as partners, to support their hospitality while also strengthening the local communities' economy and resilience."

“During my visit to Colombia and the Venezuelan border just a few months ago, I saw first-hand the consequences of the crisis and its destabilising effects in neighbouring countries. Many people are lacking crucial medicines and are in need of humanitarian assistance inside Venezuela. We cannot remain bystanders to this human tragedy." said Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides.

Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development Neven Mimica added: "We are very concerned about the critical situation in Venezuela and its impact in neighbouring countries such as Colombia which are confronted to a growing influx of people fleeing Venezuela. This package will improve the Venezuelan people's access to food and nutrition, as well as basic services like water, sanitation and hygiene. The EU's support will also help Venezuelan migrants and host communities to build resilience to respond to the increasing migratory pressures."

Out of the funding announced today, €5 million in humanitarian aid will provide health assistance, food and nutrition, water and protection for the most vulnerable mostly inside Venezuela. Another €5 million will support conflict-prevention measures to reduce social tensions and violence and protect people displaced by the crisis. €18.1 million in development assistance will address food and nutrition security, water, sanitation and hygiene within the country, as well as the socio-economic inclusion of migrants and support for host communities in neighbouring countries. Furthermore, an additional €7 million to meet further needs of those communities is being made available.

Background

The European Commission's humanitarian aid department has been providing emergency support to Venezuela since 2016 focussed on providing medicines, food and protection. Additionally, the Commission aims at building up the ability of vulnerable communities and disaster responders to prepare for, and address the natural hazards plaguing Venezuela and the region.

The European Commission's international cooperation and development department is implementing projects in Venezuela through its thematic and regional programmes to support civil society, local authorities and human and social rights. Recently measures to address food and nutrition security as well as water, hygiene and sanitation have been set up. Additionally the Commission is mobilising its 'migration and asylum programme' to support the region in coping with displaced persons.