Press release

New UK aid support for Venezuelans in desperate need

The UK is significantly increasing its support for vulnerable Venezuelans suffering in the wake of their country’s economic collapse.

Venezuelan children at a migration centre in Colombia. Picture: UNICEF/Santiago Arcos

Venezuelan children at a migration centre in Colombia. Picture: UNICEF/Santiago Arcos

The UK is significantly increasing its support for vulnerable Venezuelans suffering in the wake of their country’s economic collapse.

Today’s announcement of additional UK aid support will help aid organisations in Venezuela deliver life-saving medicine and clean water to those suffering from the dire humanitarian crisis. It will also provide longer-term support in neighbouring countries, which are hosting millions of Venezuelans.

This new funding builds on existing UK support which is helping malnourished children and providing vaccinations and clean water to some of the most vulnerable communities. Inflation in Venezuela remains dangerously high at well over one million percent, leaving many Venezuelans unable to afford basics, such as food and medicines. Poverty in Venezuela has almost doubled since 2014 and there has been a stark increase in disease outbreaks such as measles and diphtheria.

This is forcing Venezuelans to flee to neighbouring countries and increasing the threat of human trafficking.

International Development Secretary Alok Sharma said:

The people of Venezuela are needlessly suffering as a direct result of Maduro’s refusal to accept the scale of his country’s worsening humanitarian crisis.

This new UK aid will help provide immediate life-saving support to the millions of Venezuelans in need inside the country and to those forced to flee.

Neighbouring countries have already shown immense generosity, and other donors must now step up or this crisis will deepen further.

Today’s allocation of up to £30 million comes shortly after the United Nations called on donors to give US$223 million to support a bigger humanitarian response this year.

Notes to editors

  • Today’s announcement of UK aid is in addition to the £14.5 million announced by DFID earlier this year, taking the UK’s total response to £44.5 million.
  • It will support humanitarian agencies across the region. We are not disclosing which specific agencies we are funding inside Venezuela for security reasons. No UK funding goes to the Government of Venezuela.
  • In addition to today’s new support, DFID already gives core funding to multilateral organisations on the ground, which are providing emergency humanitarian aid in the region.
  • The UN’s Central Emergency Response Fund, to which the UK was the largest donor in 2018, has allocated a total of US$32 million to the region for this crisis, including US$19 million for use within Venezuela.

General media queries (24 hours)

Published 24 September 2019
Last updated 24 September 2019 + show all updates
  1. Added translation
  2. First published.