The United States Pre-Positions First Phase of Humanitarian Assistance to Provide Aid to Venezuelans – Cucuta, Colombia

  • At the request of Interim President Juan Guaidó, the United States is immediately prepositioning emergency supplies in Colombia to provide relief to Venezuelans coping with severe food and medicine shortages.
  • As Secretary Pompeo announced on January 24, 2019, at the request of Interim President Juan Guaidó, the United States is preparing to provide more than $20 million in humanitarian assistance to the people of Venezuela as they struggle to cope with severe shortages of food and medicine and the other dire impacts of their country’s man-made political, economic, and humanitarian crisis:
    o This immediate assistance would help address the greatest needs identified by Interim President Guaidó’s team: Emergency food and health supplies aimed at reaching the most-vulnerable populations in Venezuela.
    o The first phase of assistance, pre-positioned in Cúcuta here today, will improve the lives of thousands of Venezuelans, and includes:

    • Locally purchased food kits, which contain items such as vegetable oil, flour, lentils, and rice, that could help meet the basic needs of over 5,000 Venezuelans for 10 days;
    • Locally purchased hygiene kits that contain soap, toothbrushes and toothpaste, and other personal hygiene supplies, enough for over 7,500 Venezuelans for 10 days;
    • High-protein, high-energy nutritional supplements from a factory in Rhode Island—known as ready-to-use supplementary foods (RUSF)—to treat an estimated 6,700 young Venezuelan children with moderate malnutrition for approximately two months to give them the vital nutrients they need to grow and thrive;
    • High-energy biscuits from a producer in Indonesia that are packed with vitamins and minerals that could serve as a temporary meal replacement or prevent acute malnutrition in an emergency for 10,000 Venezuelan schoolchildren for a month; and
    • Emergency medical kits that contain life-saving medical supplies and pharmaceuticals, each of which could serve a population of 10,000 in hospitals and community health centers for 90 days.
  • The U.S. Government is also pre-positioning additional U.S. relief supplies at warehouses maintained by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in Miami and Houston, ready for deployment to the region immediately:
    • These supplies include food, hygiene kits, blankets, water containers, kitchen sets, water bladders, and nutritional supplements.
  • To be effective, this aid must be allowed to enter Venezuela to reach those in need.
  • We call upon the entire like-minded international community, the private sector, and nongovernmental organizations to join us in providing life-saving aid to Venezuelans.

The United States is rapidly increasing assistance efforts to support our Hemispheric partners and people inside of Venezuela. 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 affected countries to host displaced Venezuelans.