London: The UK is providing an emergency aid package to treat malnourished children, and provide vaccinations and clean water to the most vulnerable communities affected by the Venezuela crisis, International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt announced.
Hyperinflation in Venezuela is now at an all-time high, exceeding one million percent at the end of 2018. This has resulted in economic collapse with many Venezuelans being unable to afford food or other basic necessities. As the situation has deteriorated further, millions of people have had no choice but to flee to neighbouring countries to survive.
International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt said: “I am deeply disturbed by the awful scenes of suffering in Venezuela as a result of the Maduro regime’s reckless mismanagement, with families resorting to eating rotting food to try to survive. UK aid will provide life-saving treatment to malnourished children, immunisations against deadly diseases and access to clean water and sanitation.”
While the UK has stepped up by providing urgent relief, all parties must immediately recognise the severity of the crisis and allow unhindered access for aid agencies.
In Venezuela and across neighbouring countries, UK aid support will: respond to the most severe health and nutrition needs by supporting emergency rooms and maternity wards, providing vaccines and vital nutrition for children and improving water supply and sanitation; ensure people fleeing their homes have access to critical support, including through the provision of mobile health clinics; help meet the immediate needs of those forced to flee Venezuela, who are at greater risk of exploitation, by offering migrants access to personal documentation and information on how to access basic services.
The announcement of £6.5 million is new funding from DFID’s crisis reserve. The money will support humanitarian agencies across the region. Given the difficulties agencies are already facing, and the Maduro regime’s denial of a humanitarian crisis, we are not disclosing those that we are supporting.
In addition to new support, DFID already provides core funding to multilateral organisations on the ground which are providing emergency humanitarian relief as part of the international response in the region.
The UN’s Central Emergency Response Fund, to which the UK was the largest donor in 2018, has allocated a total of US$26 million to the region for this crisis, including US$9 million within Venezuela.