The year 2018 posed enormous challenges for the ICRC´s work in Venezuela due to the difficult economic and social situation that the country is experiencing. The organization helped the nation's most vulnerable people, especially migrants and those affected by violence, working in partnership with the Venezuelan Red Cross (VRC) and the National Societies of the CARICOM countries. Volunteers were given first aid training, and people living in areas of risk were trained in primary health care. Among the most valuable contributions was the provision of medical supplies to the VRC´s emergency response programme, which provided care to 1,800 patients throughout Venezuela.
Other activities carried out in 2018:
- Infrastructure improvements were made to, and basic materials provided for, the emergency services of four hospitals in the central area of the country in order to improve conditions in terms of access to water, lighting, electrical installations, maintenance of the electricity backup equipment and air conditioning.
- Over 370 military and civilian medical professionals from the national public health system received training in ER trauma management and in special surgery for people injured by firearms and explosive devices.
- 123 participants, mostly officers from the Venezuelan armed forces, participated in train-the-trainer courses on the use of force in operations to maintain law and order, and these participants in turn passed on this training to more than 6,300 officers.
- Over 1,600 people in transit received guidance and self-care advice that enabled them to migrate more safely, and they also received basic first aid. With support from the ICRC, the VRC established information points in seven bus stations, making connectivity tools – mobile phone chargers, wireless Internet and free phone calls – available to migrants and helping to reunite family members who have been separated.
- In the CARICOM States the ICRC also organized two regional workshops on Restoring Family Links and activities to help detained migrants, with the participation of the National Red Cross Societies of Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Belize, Curacao and the Bahamas.