The situation in Venezuela is tense and evolving quickly. Recent developments have led to a dramatic deterioration of what was already a strenuous economic and social situation.
This complex environment proves challenging for humanitarian organizations. In this context, the Red Cross emphasizes that meeting the most-urgent needs of the Venezuelan people and strictly following the principles of neutrality, impartiality, and independence remains its priority. These principles ensure that Red Cross volunteers are trusted and able to reach communities and people in need.
In the region: Red Cross continues to help countries cope
Millions of people have left Venezuela over the past 18 months—traveling to and through Central America, South America, and the Caribbean. Colombia has the largest share of migrants, with an estimated 1.1 million Venezuelans either transiting through the country or seeking to resettle there.
These neighboring countries are straining to keep up with the diverse needs of those crossing the border. Many families are failing to meet their basic nutritional requirements as they struggle to find jobs in new and unfamiliar settings. The sudden influx of people in surrounding countries has also led to a rise in the price of food and medicine in some areas.
The American Red Cross is contributing $350,000 to support people displaced from Venezuela who are living in surrounding countries. These funds will help local Red Cross societies to provide aid such as medical care, hygiene items, food, and water to families in need. For years, the American Red Cross has been working closely with the Colombian Red Cross to care for migrants—and this contribution is in-line with that support.
The global Red Cross and Red Crescent network will refrain from engaging in politicized discussions, but is prepared to respond to humanitarian needs as they unfold in this unpredictable environment.
In Venezuela: Red Cross is on the ground throughout the country
Within Venezuela, healthcare is a major priority. The Venezuelan Red Cross has a network of hospitals and healthcare clinics—and more than 2,600 active volunteers across the country. The Red Cross operates eight hospitals and 38 outpatient clinics. In 2018 alone, these facilities provided services to more than 1 million Venezuelans.
The global Red Cross and Red Crescent network has been active in Venezuela for years, focusing on responding to humanitarian needs of the people—without regard to socio-economic status or political views.
As events continue to unfold, the Red Cross is committed to carrying out its humanitarian mission each and every day.
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About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides comfort to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; distributes international humanitarian aid; and supports veterans, military members and their families. The Red Cross is a nonprofit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to deliver its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.