By R. Mitchell –
On Friday, the United States and its partners began pre-positioning additional humanitarian aid for Venezuelans in Boa Vista, Brazil in proximity to the Brazil-Venezuela border. This life-saving humanitarian assistance is made up of 178 metric tons of locally-procured food supplies and is ready to be delivered to Venezuelans suffering from severe food shortages inside Venezuela. This aid includes:
- Food kits containing rice, beans, sugar, and salt to feed nearly 3,500 people for 10 days; and
- Additional rice to feed an estimated 6,100 people for one month.
“To save lives, this critical aid must be allowed to enter Venezuela,” the U.S. State Department said Friday in a statement. “The U.S. government is coordinating with governments in the region and our regional humanitarian partners to ensure that the systems are in place to transport this aid into Venezuela safely and efficiently and to reach Venezuelans.”
The United States applauded Brazil for working in partnership with the Trump administration to make this aid delivery possible, and for providing additional contributions of humanitarian assistance.
“The United States remains committed to helping the people of Venezuela, and this assistance is not the first – and will not be the last – that the American people send to help those in need,” a state department official said in the statement.
Since Fiscal Year 2017, the United States has provided more than $140 million – including nearly $97 million in humanitarian assistance and approximately $43 million in development and economic assistance – to support the generous efforts of countries in the region that are hosting the nearly 3.4 million people who have fled the chaos in Venezuela.
This includes more than $10.5 million in humanitarian aid to assist Venezuelans displaced to Brazil, particularly in the border state of Roraima, reinforcing the Government of Brazil’s emergency response efforts.
In addition, on January 24, 2019, Secretary Pompeo announced that the United States is ready to provide more than $20 million in additional funding to support humanitarian assistance activities in Venezuela. This additional funding is being used, in part, to procure the humanitarian supplies being pre-positioned on Venezuela’s borders with Colombia and Brazil.
“We continue to assess humanitarian needs throughout the region to determine what additional assistance we can provide,” the State Department said. “We greatly appreciate the generosity and compassion of countries throughout the hemisphere who are hosting the more than three million Venezuelans who have fled crisis in their country. We commend the humanitarian contributions made by all donors, and encourage additional contributions to meet growing humanitarian needs.”
Humanitarian assistance is critical to saving the lives of Venezuelans, but it will not improve the political and economic conditions that are responsible for this crisis. The Trump administration continue to encourage the relevant authorities in Venezuela to implement immediately the critical economic and political reforms necessary to end the hyperinflation, supply shortages, and corruption at the heart of this crisis.
Source: U.S. Department of State
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