The European Commission on June 7 announced plans to allocate €35.1m in emergency aid and medium-term development assistance to support the Venezuelan people and neighbouring countries.

“Venezuela and Europe have always been incredibly close,” said High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini. “We have cultural, historic and family ties with them. Our peoples are friends and partners. This new package is for those who are in the country and those who fled. Venezuela’s neighbours are showing great solidarity: we are with them, as partners, to support their hospitality while also strengthening the local communities’ economy and resilience.”

In turn, the EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, Christos Stylianides, said he saw first-hand the consequences of the socio-economic crisis during his recent visit to Colombia and Venezuelan border.

“Many people are lacking crucial medicines and are in need of humanitarian assistance inside Venezuela,” he said. “We cannot remain bystanders to this human tragedy.”

Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development Neven Mimica added: “We are very concerned about the critical situation in Venezuela and its impact in neighbouring countries such as Colombia which are confronted to a growing influx of people fleeing Venezuela. This package will improve the Venezuelan people’s access to food and nutrition, as well as basic services like water, sanitation and hygiene. The EU’s support will also help Venezuelan migrants and host communities to build resilience to respond to the increasing migratory pressures.”

According to a Commission press release, Brussels will provide €5m for health assistance, food and nutrition, water and protection for the most vulnerable mostly inside Venezuela. Another €5m will support conflict-prevention measures to reduce social tensions and violence and protect people displaced by the crisis.

Some €18.1m in development assistance will address food and nutrition security, water, sanitation and hygiene within the country, as well as the socio-economic inclusion of migrants and support for host communities in neighbouring countries. An additional €7m will be spent to meet further needs of those communities is being made available.