Effective immediately, the United States is increasing humanitarian assistance to Venezuelans in Colombia who were forced to leave their country due to the ongoing crisis created by the Maduro regime. The U.S. Agency for International Development is providing this new initial assistance, totaling $2.5 million, in partnership with the Colombian government. The funds will go to humanitarian organizations that provide Venezuelans with emergency food and health assistance in impacted border areas.
This funding is in addition to the $36.5 million the State Department is providing in fiscal years 2017 and 2018 to support the regional humanitarian operations of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and other international organizations. Those operations include assistance for Venezuelans now resident outside their country. We commend the humanitarian contributions made by all donors, and encourage additional contributions to meet growing needs.
We applaud the government of Colombia for its compassion in hosting hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans who have fled their country. The United States stands with the hemisphere and democratic nations around the world in support of the Venezuelan people, wherever they may be.