Sep 25 · 4 min read
Venezuelan Judith Saracual, 45, and her children pose for a portrait at their home in Caracas. The United States is providing aid to families who are facing the effects of the worsening economic and political crisis in Venezuela. Photo credit: Matias Delacroix / AFP

Since 2014, deteriorating economic and political conditions in Venezuela— characterized by hyperinflation and corrupt policies — have transformed the once-rich country into one of the poorest in the region. You only need to look at the numbers to learn the extent of this disheartening and disturbing crisis that is getting worse:

- 7 million Venezuelans are in need of humanitarian aid

- 4.3 million Venezuelans lack sufficient water, sanitation, and hygiene items

- 90% of Venezuela hospitals don’t have enough water or medicine

- 50% of malaria cases in the Western Hemisphere are from Venezuela

To further demonstrate our commitment and solidarity with the Venezuelan people, the United States during the 74th United Nations General Assembly announced nearly $119 million in additional humanitarian assistance to help address these challenges. This includes nearly $36 million in funding for critical humanitarian programs inside Venezuela, as well as support for Venezuelans forced to flee to countries throughout the region.

Assistance will be provided through impartial relief agencies — including international and local organizations and UN agencies — that are working inside Venezuela.

Here are four ways how USAID assistance is saving lives inside Venezuela:

1. Providing Critical Health Assistance

Patients at University Hospital in Caracas and throughout Venezuela are bearing the brunt of food, medicine, and water shortages caused by the ongoing crisis. USAID is prioritizing the provision of emergency health assistance. Photo credits: Juan Barreto / AFP (Left) Yuri Cortez / AFP (Right)

With 90 percent of hospitals facing shortages of key supplies — including medicine and water — USAID is prioritizing support for health programs inside Venezuela through the provision of primary health services, improved access to basic medical supplies and medicines, critical training for healthcare workers, and support for malaria treatment and immunization efforts to prevent the spread of infectious diseases.

2. Supporting Water, Sanitation & Hygiene Programs

People line up to fill jerry cans with water from the Wuaraira Repano mountain in Caracas. Venezuela is wracked by an economic crisis in which its population has faced failing public services and a shortage of basic necessities. Photo credit: Federico Parra / AFP

USAID assistance inside Venezuela includes the provision of safe drinking water and water trucking services, improvement of solid waste management, distribution of hygiene kits, support for hygiene promotion activities, and repairs to hand-washing stations, latrines, and incinerators at health centers to help prevent the spread of infections.

3. Providing Emergency Food Assistance & Nutrition

It’s estimated that 3.7 million people are in need of food assistance in Venezuela. USAID is providing hot meals to vulnerable Venezuelans — especially pregnant women and children — in community kitchens and schools, as well as providing nutrition assistance to people in need. Photo credits: (Left) Juan Barreto / AFP (Right) Yuri Cortez / AFP

The UN-issued Humanitarian Response Plan identified pregnant women and children as among the vulnerable groups requiring critical food and nutrition. USAID is funding hot meals in community kitchens and schools, as well as guidance to mothers on appropriate feeding practices. We’re also supporting nutrition counseling, training for nutrition workers, and programs that prevent and treat malnutrition.

4. Supporting Protection Programs

A child prays before eating in Maracay, Venezuela. USAID is supporting programs such as child-friendly spaces that help safeguard vulnerable Venezuelans. Photo credit: Yuri Cortez / AFP

During times of crisis, USAID works to help safeguard vulnerable Venezuelans from violence and exploitation. In Venezuela, protection programs include the provision of child-friendly spaces, raising awareness of gender-based violence, and support for community-based safe environments that promote the well-being of vulnerable Venezuelans.

With this new funding, the United States is providing $568 million in humanitarian and development assistance to support programs inside Venezuela and throughout the region.

Of this, more than $472 million is funding life-saving humanitarian programs and supporting the objectives of the Humanitarian Response Plan issued by the United Nations, which looks to provide assistance to 2.6 million people most in need inside Venezuela.

Read more about USAID’s humanitarian efforts in Venezuela and the region.

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U.S. Agency for International Development

Stories of USAID’s Work from Around the World


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USAID's Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance saves lives on behalf of the American people.

U.S. Agency for International Development

Stories of USAID’s Work from Around the World

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