World Humanitarian Day: A day to recognise the dedication of humanitarian workers in Venezuela

News and Press Release
Originally published


(Caracas, 19 August 2020) – World Humanitarian Day is celebrated on 19 August each year. The General Assembly of the United Nations designated the day to recognise the unwavering dedication of humanitarian workers and to honour those who lost their lives while helping the most vulnerable. This year, with the COVID-19 pandemic, a special tribute is paid to frontline humanitarian workers – the reallife heroes.

“Today we pay tribute to humanitarian workers around the world who have committed their lives to helping others under extreme circumstances. The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the risks for all health workers and for humanitarian action in general. Despite these risks, humanitarian workers in Venezuela continue helping affected people, treating and preventing COVID-19, administrating vaccines, distributing food, providing drinking water and establishing safe spaces for women and girls. I particularly want to highlight the courage and the critical work of health workers, many of whom have been directly affected by COVID-19. It is crucial that they have the required protective measures to fulfil their essential duties in hospitals, primary health centres, temporary shelters, laboratories and other health institutions,” said Peter Grohmann, United Nations Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator in Venezuela.

The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated humanitarian needs in Venezuela. The 2020 Humanitarian Response Plan requires US $762.5 million to assist 4.5 million of the most vulnerable people. “In response to the impact of the pandemic, we are doubling our efforts to respond to the most critical needs of vulnerable Venezuelans,” added Mr. Grohmann.

To date, international donors have generously contributed almost $140 million in 2020, which has allowed the United Nations and its partners to provide some type of humanitarian assistance to around 3 million people this year. However, significant gaps in funding remain in order to sustain and expand the response, and an appeal is made to donors to increase their support to the Humanitarian Response Plan.

Humanitarian assistance is delivered in line with a series of basic principles: humanity, impartiality, neutrality and independence. Humanitarian personnel work in complex environments to deliver assistance in the most affected communities, without discrimination and in a non-political manner.

The United Nations and partners have increased their presence in Venezuela to respond to the humanitarian situation, and appeals for more access to reach the most vulnerable populations and to expand the operations of national and international humanitarian organizations.

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For more information about humanitarian response in Venezuela, please contact:
Gema Cortés, Public Information Officer, Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA); email:; phone: +58 424 136 4370
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