Venezuela crisis: EU mobilises additional humanitarian assistance

Brussels, 5 February 2019

EU to provide further humanitarian assistance to help the Venezuelan people

As many people continue to suffer from the severe socio-economic crisis in Venezuela, the Commission has allocated today additional humanitarian assistance of €5 million to help those most in need. This is in addition to the humanitarian assistance totalling €34 million for the crisis in 2018 alone.

“Helping the Venezuelan people in need is a priority for the European Union. We are stepping up our emergency aid to help the most vulnerable who lack access to food, medicines and basic services and have been forced to leave their homes. We will also continue to support Venezuelans and host communities in neighbouring countries.” said Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides.

To help facilitate humanitarian assistance to partners on the ground, the EU intends to open a humanitarian office in Caracas.

The EU support includes the provision of emergency healthcare, access to safe water and sanitation as well as to education. It will further address the population's protection, shelter, food and nutritional needs.

Commissioner Christos Stylianides visited Colombia in March last year and travelled to the eastern border with Venezuela and the Simon Bolivar bridge, crossed by thousands of migrants on a daily basis.

Background

Venezuela is facing its fifth year of continuous economic recession and hyperinflation. The crisis has caused a collapse of the health and education systems, scarcity of food and medicines, violence and insecurity. Outbreaks of diseases that had been previously eradicated, including measles, diphtheria and malaria, have returned. Malnutrition rates, particularly among children, are critical. Together with children, women, elderly people and indigenous populations are the most affected.

In addition, the current crisis has triggered unprecedented population displacements with according to UNHCR-IOM over 1 million Venezuelans are seeking shelter in Colombia, around 506,000 in Peru, and 221,000 in Ecuador. Many more have fled to the Caribbean and Central America. This is the largest migratory flow ever recorded in Latin America.

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