The European Commission has allocated an additional €20 million to respond to the urgent needs of those affected by the socio-economic crisis in Venezuela.

This comes on top of €35 million in emergency relief and development assistance for people in the country and the region announced in June.

Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides visited Colombia in March and travelled to the eastern border with Venezuela and the Simon Bolivar bridge, crossed by thousands of migrants on a daily basis.

“I have seen first-hand the anguish and suffering of many Venezuelans, who have been forced to leave their homes by the unfolding crisis in the country. The EU remains committed to help those in need in Venezuela, as well as the host communities in neighbouring countries. Our new funding will enhance our efforts to provide health and food assistance, emergency shelter, and improved access to water and sanitation,” said Commissioner Stylianides.

The emergency relief package will boost the ongoing EU response to help the most vulnerable, and support the reception capacities of the host communities in the region. The EU’s assistance, delivered through partners on the ground, focuses on emergency healthcare, food aid, shelter and protection for the most vulnerable families affected by the crisis.

The socio-economic crisis in Venezuela is marked by lack of access to basic services, scarcity of food and epidemic outbreaks. Children, women, elderly people and indigenous populations are the most affected.

The crisis has triggered enormous suffering, displacement and migration. According to the United Nations, more than 3 million Venezuelans have left their country since 2015 and are seeking refuge in neighbouring countries – predominantly in Colombia (currently hosting close to 1 million Venezuelans), Peru (506,000), Ecuador (221,000) and Brazil (85,000). This represents the largest human migration in Latin America in recent times.