HumVenezuela tracks the events that mark the trajectory of the Complex Humanitarian Emergency in Venezuela, in order to study the changes in its evolution over time, from 2016 to the present.
HumVenezuela tracks the events that mark the trajectory of the Complex Humanitarian Emergency in Venezuela, in order to study the changes in its evolution over time, from 2016 to the present.
Volker Turk, the new United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR), made his first visit to Venezuela between January 26 and 28, indicating in his final statement that he had been informed of worrying situations regarding the humanitarian crisis, civic space and the civil, political, economic and social rights of the population.
IOM reports that during the year 2022 the crossing of migrants, refugees and asylum seekers through the Darien jungle reached a record 250 thousand people, doubling the number of 2021, located at 133 thousand. In 2022, it was indicated that “the number of Venezuelans following this route increased about 50 times last year compared to 2021, reaching 150,327”.
OCHA in Venezuela updates the Biannual Humanitarian Response Plan for the year 2023, with a goal of 5.2 million people with humanitarian needs and 720 million dollars required. In the plan, the priority was set to continue advancing in a more focused response in municipalities, the integration of capacity building and resilience actions and the promotion of gender equality, the traceability and the nexus between humanitarian and development.
Government of Panama reports record number of more than 100,000 Venezuelans crossing the dangerous Darien jungle, border between Panama and Colombia, seeking protection and opportunities. UNHCR and IOM warn that, if this trend continues, more than 400,000 Venezuelans could be expected to be displaced from their country of origin by the end of 2023, most of them for economic reasons and more than half of them fleeing insecurity or threats against them and their families.
OCHA reported on July 19 on its twitter account that Venezuela is the second most underfunded humanitarian response country in the world, having raised just 14% of the $720 million required for the second year of the 2023 Biannual Humanitarian Response Plan. The announcement was accompanied by an urgent appeal for increased funding to respond to the needs of vulnerable people.
The R4V platform updated the number of Venezuelan refugees, migrants and asylum seekers reported in host government statistics to 7.7 million, 6.5 million of whom are in Latin American and Caribbean countries. R4V notes that since government sources do not take into account people without regular migration status, the updated total number is likely to be higher.
UNHCR and IOM request greater international cooperation to address the serious protection risks and urgent humanitarian needs of people crossing the Darien jungle, with a comprehensive, regional and collaborative approach. From January to August 2023, about 250,000 people had crossed, a figure higher than the total recorded for the entire year 2022, of which 55% were Venezuelan nationals.
The Venezuela Fact-Finding Mission (FFM) presented a report to the Human Rights Council on the human rights crisis in Venezuela until August 2023. The report focused on the intensification of attacks on the country’s civic and democratic space and on the security forces involved in serious human rights violations, after having issued warnings in January 2023 about the intention to use legislative instruments to close the civic space and, in March 2023, about continued attacks on civil society, the media and trade unions.
The UN Secretary General announced the creation of a trust fund open to partners, contemplated within the agreements between the government and the opposition in Venezuela, signed in November 2022. This fund would be aimed at allocating resources to health, food, education and electricity initiatives that provide social protection and humanitarian assistance to the population. It was indicated that the fund would be open to several partners, without providing further specifications.
In the Global Humanitarian Overview 2022, OCHA announced that the Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) in Venezuela will be multi-year (2022-23), and not annual as it was until 2021, to improve coordination between humanitarian actions and development. In 2022, the request for $708.1M still remains, of which 37% was raised in 2021, to address 4.5 million people with humanitarian needs, out of 7 million estimated in 2019.
In the 3rd Cycle of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), 14 countries recommended that Venezuela guarantee access and security to organizations working in response to the complex humanitarian emergency in Venezuela, despite the fact that the Venezuelan State made no mention of the situation in its report nor did it refer to the Humanitarian Country Team installed by the UN since 2019 to coordinate the response.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, UNAIDS and the UN Secretary General demand the immediate release of members of the NGO Azul Positivo, illegally deprived of liberty for implementing a food security program in affected populations in Zulia state, with funds from UN agencies and international partners. The members of Azul Positivo were released from prison in February, without obtaining full freedom.
The UN suspends the cash transfer programs temporarily, due to the unlawful deprivation of liberty of the members of Azul Positivo, until the conditions to continue with the implementation of these programs in Venezuela are reviewed. At the end of 2021, the programs were still suspended in the country.
In the locality of La Victoria in the municipality of Paez, Apure state, border area between Venezuela and Colombia, clashes between guerrilla groups and Venezuelan government security forces were reported, forcing the massive displacement of more than 5,800 people from Venezuela across the border to the Colombian city of Arauquita. In the events, serious human rights violations committed by Venezuelan officials were denounced, in what is known as the Ripial Massacre.
The World Food Program (WFP) announced an agreement with the government that allows it to enter the country for the first time to meet the food needs of 185,000 children in basic education, as part of the Humanitarian Response Plan, and to progressively reach 1.5 million schoolchildren in the areas most affected by food insecurity, between 2022 and 2023. The planned annual budget was US$190 million.
The Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) in Venezuela presents the 3rd Humanitarian Response Plan 2021 as an operational update of the 2020 plan, repeating the incomplete figure of 7 million People with Humanitarian Needs (PIN) estimated in 2019, due to government restrictions to update the Humanitarian Needs Overview. This new plan aims to address a target of 4.5 million PIN in vulnerable situations, through 223 projects carried out by 144 organizations in the country’s 24 states, with requirements of US$708.1 million.
ACAPS warns in its Humanitarian Access report that Venezuela continues to have high access restrictions due to harassment and intimidation against civil society groups, NGOs, human rights organizations and media; restrictions on national NGOs to register and update registration; severe physical and logistical problems, including fuel shortages; and the closure of land borders due to COVID-19, which largely impedes people from seeking assistance in neighboring countries or forces them to cross borders irregularly.
On World Humanitarian Day (August 19), Mr. Jan Harfst, UN Resident Coordinator in Venezuela and Humanitarian Coordinator (Acting), explained in an official statement that, in order to carry out the coordination of the humanitarian response, the United Nations had strengthened its field operation with more than 700 workers in 2021. He also called to guarantee humanitarian access and continue to promote spaces for dialogue and trust between all parties, based on humanitarian principles, and to protect all humanitarian personnel.
The United Nations Secretary-General appoints Gianluca Rampolla del Tindaro as UN Resident Coordinator in Venezuela, also serving as Humanitarian Coordinator. Mr. Rampolla is Italian with extensive experience in development, humanitarian assistance and peacebuilding. The appointment follows the end of the term of Mr. Peter Grohmann in 2020, who was Resident Coordinator since 2016 and Humanitarian Coordinator, as from 2019. Mr. Jan Harfst (UNDP Representative), held these two positions temporarily on an interim basis, between the months of February and July 2021.
The states of Apure, Bolivar, Yaracuy, Zulia and Merida were affected by heavy rains in the country, which caused floods, landslides and power failures. The government issued an “emergency decree” for these states, in which humanitarian aid had to be provided. In the municipality of Tovar in the state of Merida, some 800 houses were affected and 60 were destroyed, in addition to the death of 20 people. Several incidents of restriction of access by government officials to humanitarian aid provided by the church and other humanitarian organizations were reported there.
OCHA reported that, of the US$708.1 million required to meet the 2021 Humanitarian Response Plan objectives, USD 261.3 million (36.9%) had been received as of December of this year according to Financial Tracking Service (FTS) data, which represents insufficient fundraising. In the Global Humanitarian Overview 2022, it is expected that these funds can be completed during 2022.
The Interagency Coordination Platform for Refugees and Migrants from Venezuela (R4V) updated the total number of people forced to leave the country since 2015 to 6.2 million. R4V published the 2022 Response Plan in which it expects to require humanitarian aid for 8.9 million Venezuelan refugees and migrants in 17 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. It is requesting USD 1.79 billion, USD 800,000 more than in 2021.
In February 2021, Venezuela began vaccinating against COVID-19 with batches of vaccine doses received from Russia and China. In September, Venezuela received the first batch of 693 thousand doses of 12.1 million doses acquired through PAHO’s COVAX Mechanism and in January 2022 would receive the remainder. As of January 7, 2022, with 30 million doses administered, PAHO estimated for Venezuela a total of 11.6 million people fully vaccinated (40.4% out of a total of 27.8 million people) and 18.4 million people with the first dose.
WFP publishes food security assessment conducted in Venezuela with data collected between July-September 2019, estimating 9.3 million people in need of assistance.
Government of Venezuela declares State of Alarm due to Covid-19 pandemic, among consecutive States of Exception since 2016, and requests support from the UN to combat and control the epidemic.
Venezuela is included in the World Food Crisis Report as the fourth largest food crisis in the world, after being on the list of countries with considerable foreign food assistance needs for a year.
OCHA publishes COVID-19 Intersectoral Preparedness and Response Plan for Venezuela and UN reports arrival of first humanitarian shipment to Venezuela as part of the response to Covid-19 with funding from CERF and UNICEF, PAHO/WHO and UNFPA.
UN expert group demands the Venezuelan government to offer concrete measures to put an end to the humanitarian crisis due to the devastating effects of the economic crisis on human rights.
Representatives of the Government and the National Assembly sign a collaboration agreement to jointly fight against COVID-19.
OCHA publishes the second Humanitarian Response Plan 2020, which includes a Humanitarian Needs Overview, developed by the HCT, to address 4.5 million people with humanitarian needs out of an estimated 7 million in 2019.
IRC includes Venezuela in the 20 most devastating humanitarian crises in the world by 2021 in its Emergency Watchlist, due to the triple effect of Covid-19, climate change and humanitarian emergency.
Venezuela appears again in OCHA’s Global Humanitarian Plan 2021 with a funding appeal for US$762.5 million to serve 4.6 million people with humanitarian needs in the country, out of an estimated 7 million in 2019, and another 7 million refugees in the region.
UN Resident Coordinator, with the support of OCHA, installs in Venezuela a Cooperation and Assistance Coordination Team (ECCA) within the framework of the scaling up of operations in the country, activating 8 Thematic Clusters of the Humanitarian Response Architecture.
IFRC President announces that he will have unrestricted access to humanitarian aid in Venezuela to support a major expansion of medical care and other assistance from the Venezuelan Red Cross.
ECCA prepares the first Humanitarian Needs Overview in Venezuela (HNO 2019), based on the best available secondary information, that was not published.
FAO includes Venezuela in the list of countries requiring external assistance due to a general lack of access to food as a result of a severe and prolonged economic crisis, a significant increase in refugees and migrants, and below-average cereal production.
UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, presents summary of the humanitarian situation in Venezuela to the United Nations Security Council.
The first shipment of humanitarian assistance donated by the IFRC for the public health system arrives in Venezuela with 24 tons of medicines for emergencies, 14 electric plants, 14 electric transformers and water drums.
UN Resident Coordinator in Venezuela is designated Humanitarian Coordinator to lead the humanitarian response coordinated by the United Nations, with support from OCHA. With this designation, a Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) is activated to replace the ECCA and an Inter-Cluster Coordination Group is created, in accordance with the UN Humanitarian Response Architecture.
OCHA publishes the first Humanitarian Response Plan, for the months of July-December 2019, prepared by the EHP, based on the March 2019 Humanitarian Needs Overview (unpublished), which estimated a total of 7 million people with humanitarian needs in Venezuela. The plan describes the emergency as a complex context with acute humanitarian needs.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights visits Venezuela mandated by the Human Rights Council. A team from her office was installed in the country following an agreement to provide technical assistance and monitor human rights on the ground.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights presents her first report on the human rights situation in Venezuela with 23 urgent calls to the Venezuelan government to address serious violations of civil and political rights and to guarantee economic and social rights.
UN Human Rights Council issues Resolution 42/25 on grave and systematic violations in Venezuela affecting all human rights – civil, political, economic, social and cultural – in the context of the political, economic, social and humanitarian crisis in the country, issuing a mandate to OHCHR to continue reporting and establishing an International Independent Fact-Finding Mission on grave violations in Venezuela.
UN Under-Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and Relief Coordinator visits Venezuela and issues a statement on the humanitarian situation in the country: “…Millions of people are unable to access the bare minimum of food, water and medical care”.
Venezuela appears for the second year in OCHA’s Global Humanitarian Plan 2020 with a funding appeal for US$750 million to address a target of 3.5 million people with humanitarian needs in the country out of the estimated 7 million people in March 2019.
UNICEF warns of signs of crisis in Venezuela as child malnutrition increases due to the prolonged economic crisis and urges a coordinated national response to care for the most vulnerable children due to lack of medical care, food and medicine.
WFP warns that the humanitarian situation in Venezuela is catastrophic, noting that thousands of Venezuelans have crossed the borders into neighboring countries and that it is necessary to separate humanitarian aid from any political connotations.
UNHCR issues Guidance Note on Flows of Venezuelans urging host and receiving States to allow Venezuelans access to their territories and to continue to adopt adequate responses under international protection frameworks.
UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) approves emergency resources to address the needs and vulnerabilities of Venezuelan refugees and migrants displaced by the country’s political, human rights and socioeconomic crisis.
UN Secretary General mandates IOM and UNHCR to create the Regional Interagency Coordination Platform for Refugees and Migrants from Venezuela (R4V) as a forum to coordinate humanitarian response efforts in 17 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, seeking access to basic rights and services, protection, self-sufficiency and socioeconomic integration.
UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights publishes fourth report on Venezuela, “Human Rights Violations in Venezuela: A Downward Spiral that Seems to Have No End”.
PAHO Director makes high-level visit to Venezuela and presents report on response to an effective technical cooperation agenda in Venezuela and neighboring member states.
ACAPS changes Venezuela’s category from “access restricted” to “inaccessible” due to the government’s lack of recognition of the scale of humanitarian needs and not allowing most humanitarian agencies to assist in the country.
Human Rights Council issues Resolution 39/50 expressing grave concern about serious human rights violations in the context of an economic, political, social and humanitarian crisis and requests OHCHR to prepare a comprehensive report on the human rights situation in Venezuela.
WHO Global Fund for HIV, Tuberculosis and Malaria donates US$5 million to alleviate gaps in treatment, reagents and laboratory equipment, based on the Master Plan coordinated with government and civil society organizations.
Venezuela appears for the first time in OCHA’s 2019 Global Humanitarian Plan, stating that Venezuelan migration figures as “the largest exodus experienced in Latin America and the Caribbean in its modern history” with more than 3.4 million refugees and migrants.
UN Secretary General António Guterres said he is in contact with mediators in order to facilitate ways to resolve the political crisis in Venezuela and find solutions to the social, economic and health issues affecting the Venezuelan people.
OCHA sends Disaster Response Advisor to Venezuela to manage information on the growing vulnerabilities in health, nutrition and security, which affect the majority of the population.
WFP notes in Global Food Crisis Report 2017 that the situation in Venezuela should be monitored due to economic worsening that could cause severe food and medicine shortages.
IACHR publishes its third Country Report on Venezuela due to the serious deterioration of human rights and the serious political, economic and social crisis in the country, deepened and intensified between 2015 and 2017.
OAS Secretary General presents report on Venezuela in which he points out the simultaneous concurrence of multiple crises: political, economic, social and humanitarian.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon defines the situation in Venezuela as a humanitarian crisis caused by political instability, stating that basic needs, such as food, water, sanitation and clothing, cannot be met.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights expresses grave concern to the Human Rights Council regarding the deterioration of civil and political rights in Venezuela, the increase in widespread hunger and the serious deterioration of health services.
ACAPS for the first time incorporates Venezuela into the global crisis panorama, indicating that its economic crisis has worsened dramatically with risks of aggravating the humanitarian crisis.