According to United Nations figures, over three million Venezuelans have left their country because of the crisis. Experts say this is the largest movement of refugees and migrants in the history of Latin America. More Venezuelans are seeking refuge in neighbouring countries every day. The Federal Foreign Office is now increasing humanitarian aid for Venezuelan refugees and migrants in need to 14.6 million euros. The aim is to alleviate the suffering of the refugees and migrants.
Very difficult supply situation
However, the neighbouring countries are increasingly reaching their limits, as the number of Venezuelan refugees and migrants is rising every day. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) will thus coordinate aid measures and have set up a regional coordination platform to this end.
German officials and representatives of other donor countries have visited the countries with the largest number of refugees and seen the situation on the ground for themselves. “At the start, it was mainly relatively well-off Venezuelans who left the country. But in the meantime, the refugees are people who have lost everything. They travel huge distances on foot to ensure their own survival and that of their families,” says a Federal Foreign Office employee.
Germany is helping in the fields of healthcare and protection
The Venezuelan Government continues to deny that there is a humanitarian crisis and permits almost no direct support for its own population, which faces malnutrition, poor healthcare and political repression.
Since the start of the crisis, the Federal Foreign Office has provided some 14.6 million euros in humanitarian assistance to Venezuela’s neighbouring countries, thus making Germany one of the largest donors. Around 11 million euros go directly to World Food Programme (WFP) regional programmes and UNHCR, while a further 3.6 million euros are managed by German aid organisations. People from Venezuela receive food aid and healthcare and are also protected from human trafficking, abduction, exploitation and being forced to join criminal gangs.
The European Union has pledged a total of 55 million euros for humanitarian assistance and development cooperation.