Venezuela

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In response to the full-scale social and economic crisis affecting the country, Development and Peace — Caritas Canada is implementing a $500,000 food assistance project in partnership with the Canadian Foodgrains Bank.

The six-month project is being carried out by Caritas Venezuela and Catholic Relief Services in Caracas Districts and the states of Carabobio, Miranda, Vargas and Zulia in support of some of the most impoverished people. Cash transfers are being disbursed to 3,640 people (80 per cent of whom are women) from 910 households to help them meet their basic food needs.

Venezuela Crisis

With funding from Global Affairs Canada, Development and Peace and Caritas Venezuela also implemented a health and nutrition initiative that served 18,370 people in vulnerable communities in Venezuela. Between July 2017 and March 2018, that initiative provided:

  • Basic health care
  • Nutritional supplements to children aged under five years and pregnant women
  • Essential drugs to vulnerable and at-risk individuals
  • Aid to community meal programs
  • Family hygiene kits and water filters

 

The issues we work on to build justice:

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Humanitarian Aid

 

The situation

Venezuela has some of world’s the largest oil reserves from which it derives more than 90 per cent of its income. Between 2014 and 2016, global oil prices collapsed dramatically. At the same time, Venezuela’s oil production hit 30-year lows because of corruption and underinvestment in infrastructure. These adverse factors, along with the effect of some American trade and financial sanctions, have plunged the country into an economic crisis.

Since 2013, rampant inflation has made the economic situation untenable. Millions of Venezuelans face acute food shortages and limited access to health care and sanitation. Child malnutrition is rising and the average Venezuelan has lost more than 11 kilograms of body weight over 2018.

At least 4 million people have fled Venezuela since 2015, with 2.7 million going to Latin American and Caribbean countries. In June 2019, the United Nations Refugee Agency and the International Organization for Migration reported that “Venezuelans are now one of the single largest population groups displaced from their country.”

Venezuela Crisis

Maria Teresa Jiménez, 85, raised nine children on her seamstress’ wages. Five of her children and nine of her grandchildren have left Venezuela following the crisis. “I’m happy that my children are in a place where they don’t face danger. I wish I were 20 years younger so I could go with them.”

In addition, the country is in political turmoil. Since January 23, 2019, Venezuela is living with two presidents: one elected in contested elections, Nicolás Maduro, and the other self-proclaimed interim president, Juan Guaidó. This unprecedented political crisis is dividing the country into two camps and worsening the economic and social situation in which millions of Venezuelans find themselves.

 

The Venezuelan crisis in numbers

4 million people
about 12.5% of the population — have fled the country

1,370,000% inflation
has obliterated employment opportunities and people’s purchasing power

11 kilograms
lost due to chronic hunger by each Venezuelan in the last year

(Sources: United Nations, IMF, Caritas) 

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