During a visit to Boa Vista, Brazil, as part of his three-day tour of South America, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced nearly $348 million in additional U.S. humanitarian assistance in response to the crisis in Venezuela.
“The United States is demonstrating our continued commitment to the Venezuelan people and our response to the ongoing humanitarian crisis caused by the corrupt and illegitimate Maduro regime,” the State Department said in a written statement on September 19.
This additional U.S. humanitarian assistance includes support to the more than seven million Venezuelans with critical needs inside Venezuela, as well as the more than five million who have sought refuge in countries across the region including Colombia, Brazil, Ecuador, and Peru. According to the State Department, this new funding now brings the total amount of U.S. humanitarian and development assistance for Venezuela to more than $1.2 billion since 2017, excluding COVID-19 supplementary funding.
Assistance to the beleaguered country will include urgently needed food; direct cash assistance; support for water, sanitation, and hygiene; emergency health care and medical supplies; and protection for vulnerable groups such as women, youth, and indigenous people, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
While in Boa Vista, Secretary Pompeo met with his counterpart Foreign Minister Ernesto Araujo and highlighted Brazil’s regional leadership in providing humanitarian assistance to Venezuelan refugees.
“Foreign Minister, your government’s compassion and support for freedom in this area is truly a model for the entire hemisphere. You provided shelter to nearly 265,000 Venezuelans who are deeply in need. Thank you for that,” Pompeo said.
The United States remains the largest single donor of humanitarian and development assistance around the world, including for Venezuelans in need.