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Venezuela: help has arrived

Hope: these packages of urgently needed medicines and medical supplies from action medeor were delivered to our partners in Venezuela on 23 February.

Hope: these packages of urgently needed medicines and medical supplies from action medeor were delivered to our partners in Venezuela on 23 February. © action medeor

The humanitarian crisis in Venezuela worsens. action medeor sends medicines to supply Venezuelan refugees in Colombia.

For weeks, the political struggle between Nicolás Maduro and Juan Guaidó for the presidential office have stood at the centre of the news from the South American country. Meanwhile, the humanitarian crisis worsens, leaving the population without the most basic supplies: the public health sector has collapsed and hardly any medicine is left in the country.

To survive, more than 3 million people have left their homes – one out of ten Venezuelan. One million of them have fled to the neighbouring Columbia, a country in which poverty and violence are widespread due to its decades long armed conflicts.

“I wanted to escape poverty with my children, and now, I am again stuck in poverty“, tells a young mother who is stranded in Cartagena, in the north of Columbia. Together with a local partner organisation, action medeor supplies Venezuelan refugees in Colombia with food, medicines, and medical supplies.

The political state of the country hampers the import of medical supplies into Venezuela. Antibiotics, painkillers, bandage material - the most basic supplies are missing. Because of the complicated situation, action medeor is currently only able to send small deliveries to partners in Venezuela.

Bernd Pastors, the spokesperson of action medeor, describes the current state of the humanitarian assistance: “We are observing the situation in Venezuela and its neighbouring countries and are in contact with our local partners. Currently, we are focused on the supply of Venezuelan refugees in Colombia – but we are also able to send, on a smaller scale, medicines directly to Venezuela.”

The humanitarian crisis in Venezuela

Due to the lasting economic and political crisis in Venezuela, more than three million people have fled the country. The population suffers under a lasting economic and medical emergency state: the country experiences regular water and power outages, and the quality and the safety of drinking water is lacking. In 2016, 80 percent of the population lived under the poverty line. The Venezuelan healthcare system is not able to provide sufficient medical care of the population. A lot of medicines and medical supplies are hard to get or even completely missing. In many regions, emergency medical care is no longer provided. Due to the bad quality of water, diseases such as diarrhoea and cholera are spreading. Mother and infant mortality rates are rising and, additionally, the dramatic rise of malnutrition and undernutrition endangers especially the health of children. A great number of doctors and health personal has already left the country.

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