Venezuela: Meeting the needs of people affected by armed violence

  • A barber in La Cota 905
    A barber in La Cota 905
    Robert begins his day laying out his tools in the space he has turned into his own salon. Known now as the local barber, he carries out his work with care and creativity. Robert received technical training and seed funding to grow his business from the ICRC. In Petare, La Cota 905, Guasdualito and other parts of the country, access to opportunities and economic resources shrinks as armed violence stops people going to work, earning a living and even believing in their own abilities. In 2022, we supported farming projects, helped set up small businesses and provided technical training so that people could earn an income and support themselves and their families.
    Hermanos Corallo/ICRC 2022
  • Hopping at the border
    Hopping at the border
    Hundreds of people go every day to the rural primary health care centre in Boca de Grita, Táchira State. Some of them have been wounded or severely injured by the violence and require urgent medical attention. Together with the authorities and health-care staff, we work tirelessly to help patients get access to essential medical services and medicines and to be treated in centres that have decent equipment, staff and amenities, such as water, electricity and air conditioning – crucial for saving lives. Throughout 2022, we also helped staff in hospitals and health centres located in areas affected by armed violence by providing professional support and training and ensuring decent working conditions.
    C. Martin/ICRC 2022
  • Better forensic practices
    Better forensic practices
    People’s right to be treated with dignity and respect does not stop when they die. On the contrary, the dignified treatment of the dead should be something that enables families to say a proper goodbye to their loved ones. The ICRC seeks to promote best practices in forensic services in Venezuela with regard to the tracing, identification and handover of bodies. We also provide suitable facilities and training for forensic specialists. In 2022, we worked with the authorities and forensic staff to renovate morgues in Caracas, Miranda, Apure, Bolívar and Aragua.
    A. Sáenz/ICRC 2022
  • School supplies
    School supplies
    In October 2022, more than 1,500 pupils received school supplies in El Callao, a mining town that has been caught up in the armed violence. We also supported staff and pupils in other schools in Petare, La Cota 905 and Apure State by renovating classrooms and providing basic services such as water and electricity. The aim was to ensure pupils had safe places where they could learn, even in areas where armed violence disrupts the regular school day and prevents teachers from getting to school.
    R. Quero/ICRC 2022
  • Reconnecting families
    Reconnecting families
    Regardless of how much time has passed, the feeling of loss continues to tear at the hearts of those who have lost touch with a loved one. Together with the Venezuelan Red Cross, we work with hundreds of families who, because of armed violence, natural disasters or migration, have lost touch or are at risk of losing touch with loved ones. This work includes our restoring family links services (when someone has gone missing) and trying to prevent people from going missing. To do this, we set up contact points nationwide where people can call their loved ones, use the Wi-Fi and recharge their phones free of charge. The contact points are staffed by Venezuelan Red Cross volunteers. In 2022, many families heard from their loved ones thanks to these services.
    A. Sáenz/ICRC 2022
  • Dialogue with weapon bearers
    Dialogue with weapon bearers
    Through our confidential dialogue, we remind the authorities and other armed actors of their obligations under international humanitarian law and domestic regulations on the use of force. The aim is to reduce the impact of armed violence on people’s lives. To that end, in 2022 we gave workshops on international humanitarian law and national and international law on the use of force to 1,100 officers of the National Bolivarian Armed Forces and members of the police force and other authorities.
    C. Martin / ICRC 2022
08 February 2023

We have helped thousands of people affected by the direct and indirect consequences of armed violence in Venezuela.

Our action is guided by the Fundamental Principles of humanity, impartiality, neutrality and independence. We work hard to listen to people, understand their problems and make them agents of the changes they want to see in their lives, their families and their communities. This requires teamwork and the abilities, resilience and drive of the people themselves, people who keep going despite the challenging circumstances in which they find themselves. We shall continue our efforts to meet their most pressing needs.