The United States announced a new $200 million aid package for Venezuelans, both inside and outside the country, including $138 million for humanitarian assistance.
“The United States continues to be a catalyst for the international response to help the Venezuelan people and the region to respond to the ongoing humanitarian crisis caused by the former [Nicolás] Maduro regime,” said U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a statement sent to Voice of America (VOA).
“We are providing more than $200 million in additional assistance from the [U.S.] State Department, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and the Inter-American Foundation (IAF),” added Pompeo, “including more than $138 million in humanitarian assistance, for Venezuelans in need.”
Pompeo said that the assistance will go to Venezuelans living in their country, as well as “humanitarian and development support for those who have fled to countries across the region and the communities hosting them.”
Humanitarian assistance will be used to meet critical needs, including food, health services, temporary shelter, aid in cash, educational services, and protection for minors at risk, as well as to assist indigenous communities, the elderly, women, and other vulnerable populations. Funds will also support activities to monitor the needs of Venezuelan refugees in different countries of the region.
The United States is the leading humanitarian contributor to Venezuelans, with about $856 million since fiscal year 2017, including nearly $611 million in humanitarian aid. The assistance also includes contributions for development in countries that have received Venezuelan refugees.
Development aid is enabling countries in Latin America and the Caribbean to address long-term needs caused by the Venezuelan crisis. This includes efforts to improve public health and public education systems. In addition, host countries will receive training in areas such as enhancing government capabilities to manage refugee migration and socio-economic integration. U.S. assistance has been matched by the actions of 16 countries in the region where Venezuelan refugees have settled.
“This assistance underscores our ongoing leadership to the response and continuing commitment to the Venezuelan people, including the more than 5 million Venezuelans who have fled their country to date due to the tyranny of the Maduro regime,” Pompeo said in the statement.