Venezuela in 2020: humanitarian work to help those hardest hit by violence and the pandemic

Venezuela in 2020: humanitarian work to help those hardest hit by violence and the pandemic

Article 15 March 2021 Venezuela

Throughout 2020, the social and economic crisis in Venezuela continued to take its toll on the most vulnerable part of the population, who had to not only endure a context riddled with violence and a lack of basic services, but also face a new threat that has impacted the whole world: the COVID-19 pandemic.

This scenario marked by isolation and the need to adjust to a new reality has provided the ICRC with the opportunity to double down on our efforts and speed up our response times to support communities in need, deliver medical supplies, train forensic and healthcare staff, start and continue key infrastructure work, and assist people in detention centres and migrants who had to return to the country—all while taking special precautions and following strict biosecurity standards.

Just as in 2020, the ICRC will continue operating and redoubling its efforts to fight the pandemic, without jeopardising existing programs and in strict adherence to the humanitarian principles of neutrality, impartiality and independence, ensuring total transparency towards the authorities and enhancing cooperation with the Venezuelan Red Cross and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).

In 2021, the COVID-19 crisis will continue. Hopefully, we will be able to step up our operations in Venezuela, consolidate our practices and reach more people despite the challenges we are facing.

Arnaud de Baecque
Head of the Delegation

These were some of the activities carried out by the ICRC in Venezuela during 2020:

1,471 tonnes
of medical supplies were imported.
33 healthcare facilities
received support from the ICRC: 12 hospitals, 10 primary care centres, 5 diagnostic and treatment centres in El Callao for people with malaria, and 6 clinics in penitentiary centres.
13,000 people
benefitted from the improvement and maintenance of water and sanitation systems.
3,539 people
benefitted from the services provided by 12 community kitchens supported by the ICRC.
103,116 people
had access to the connectivity services offered by the Restoring Family Links programme.
29 structures of the Venezuelan Red Cross
received financial support through essential donations in order to continue their operations.
16 forensic centres
received supplies such as biosecurity equipment and materials.
74 visits
were carried out to 9 penitentiary centres and one military hospital, with a total population of 8,342 persons deprived of liberty.