Today, the United States airlifted additional humanitarian relief supplies from Florida to Cúcuta, Colombia, intended to help people affected by the man-made political and economic crisis in Venezuela.
Venezuela’s collapsing health system is leaving hospitals without basic supplies, and has prompted outbreaks of diseases that had been were thought to be under control or eliminated. Today’s flight contained medical supplies—including examination gloves, surgical gowns, face masks, and cleaning supplies—to help hospitals and clinics stop the spread of disease through proper measures to prevent and control infections.
These relief supplies, transported by a U.S. military C-130 cargo plane, are the latest the Trump Administration has airlifted and pre-positioned in Colombia as part of a part of a whole-of-Government response that began earlier this month at the request of Interim Venezuelan President Juan Guaidó. This assistance follows last week’s airlift of water-treatment units, water-storage containers, and buckets to provide and store safe drinking water to help Venezuelans stave off sickness and disease.
Since February 4, 2019, the United States has pre-positioned hundreds of metric tons of critical relief supplies in Colombia and Brazil—procured both locally and internationally—to help tens of thousands in Venezuela.
In Colombia, this includes the following:
- Emergency medical kits that contain life-saving medical supplies and pharmaceuticals to help 40,000 people for 90 days;
- Medical supplies, including wheelchairs, crutches, bandages, and other items to help meet basic health needs;
- Hygiene kits, which include soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, and other personal hygiene supplies to help nearly 35,000 people stay healthy and prevent disease;
- Food kits that contain items such as vegetable oil, flour, lentils, and rice to feed 5,000 Venezuelans for 10 days;
- Highly nutritious, high-energy, nutritional products—known as ready-to-use supplementary foods (RUSF)—that will treat an estimated 10,000 malnourished children for approximately two months, to give them the vital nutrients they need to grow and thrive;
- High-energy biscuits packed with vitamins and minerals that can serve as a temporary meal replacement for an estimated 10,000 school children for a month;
- Water-treatment units to purify, store, and distribute safe drinking water; each unit can meet the daily water requirement of 10,000 people;
- Water-storage containers that can each hold 10,000 liters of water; and
- Buckets with built-in taps and lids, which will help thousands of families safely store water for daily use.
In Brazil, the pre-positioned supplies include the following:
- Food kits that contain 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.
However, the illegitimate Maduro regime is preventing this critical aid from entering Venezuela. The U.S. Government is coordinating with governments in the region, and with our regional humanitarian partners, on the logistics of providing relief to Venezuelans safely and efficiently.
The United States remains committed to helping the people of Venezuela, and this assistance is not the first—and will not be the last—the American people are sending to help those in need. With the Vice President’s funding announcement of nearly $56 million in new assistance last week, since Fiscal Year 2017, the United States has provided more than $195 million—including more than $152 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.
In addition, on January 24, 2019, Secretary of State Pompeo announced that the United States is ready to provide more than $20 million in additional funding to support humanitarian assistance activities in Venezuela. The pre-positioned aid in Colombia and Brazil is part of this initial humanitarian assistance to the people inside of Venezuela.
Office of Press Relations