EU to open a humanitarian office in Caracas

The aims is further humanitarian assistance to be provided to the Venezuelan people

EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides

As many people continue to suffer from the severe socio-economic crisis in Venezuela, the EU Commission announced on Tuesday that it has allocated additional humanitarian assistance of €5m to help those most in need in the country. The amount is in addition to the humanitarian assistance totalling €34m for the crisis in 2018 alone.

“Helping the Venezuelan people in need is a priority for the EU. 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,” Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides said.

To help facilitate humanitarian assistance to partners on the ground, the EU also intends to open a humanitarian office in Caracas. The EU would be then able to support provision of emergency healthcare, access to safe water and sanitation as well as to education. The office will further address the population's protection, shelter, food and nutritional needs.

EU's help is needed since 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 also 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 seeking shelter in Colombia, around 506,000 in Peru, and 221,000 in Ecuador. Many more have also fled to the Caribbean and Central America.

This is considered the largest migratory flow ever recorded in Latin America.

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