Argentina Sends First Humanitarian Aid Shipment to Venezuela

A shipment of donated food might reach Venezuela in late May, if the regime of Nicolás Maduro allows its entry.
Juan Delgado/Diálogo | 20 May 2019

People queue to receive drums to collect water and water purification tablets in Caracas, Venezuela, on April 16, 2019. (Photo: Matias Delacroix, AFP)

In light of the serious crisis in Venezuela, the Argentine government sent a first shipment of humanitarian aid to the Latin American nation. The donation fell under the Management Unit to Support Venezuela’s Reconstruction, created in February to assist with humanitarian aid and to meet the needs of Venezuelans.

A 26-ton shipment left Buenos Aires by sea for Cartagena de Indias, Colombia, on April 16, the Argentine Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Worship (MREC, in Spanish), responsible for the Management Unit, said in a press release. Oil, canned food, rice, and lentils were part of the donations. The Argentine authorities estimate that the shipment will reach Colombia May 18, before continuing onwards to Venezuela, provided the illegitimate Maduro regime does not steal it or does not allows its entry.

“This way, Argentina renews its commitment to help with the humanitarian crisis the Venezuelan people are going through,” MREC said. 

Another 3-tons of humanitarian aid is set to be shipped in mid-May from Buenos Aires to Cúcuta, on the Colombian border with Venezuela, said Alejandro Daneri, president of the White Helmets Commission, a civil humanitarian organization, part of MREC, that supports the Management Unit.

Elisa Trotta Gamus, Venezuela’s diplomatic representative in Argentina appointed by Interim President Juan Guaidó, thanked Argentina for its support. “We continue to work together for Venezuela. The humanitarian crisis in our country is a fact, and we must continue to collaborate from our spaces,” Trotta said.

Humanitarian situation

“We remain concerned about the humanitarian situation in Venezuela, which is a tragedy. The Venezuelan people are in the midst of a calamity,” Daneri told Diálogo. “We continue to work with the Venezuelan communities in Argentina to sort, store, and manage warehouses, with donated supplies that will be sent to Venezuela.”

The Venezuelan humanitarian crisis worsens by the day. The health system has collapsed, and Venezuelans suffer from extreme poverty and food insecurity. The crisis has also caused a major wave of migration, with millions of Venezuelans fleeing to other countries in the region. According to the Organization of American States, there are more than 3 million Venezuelan refugees in Latin America — more than 1 million in Colombia alone — and there could be more than 5 million by late 2019.

“We have fought for humanitarian assistance, so that we can address the emergency caused by the usurper, because out commitment is to the well-being of our people. Thank you, Argentina! Venezuelans will repay this solidarity and support,” said Guaidó via Twitter.

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