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PRESS RELEASE | Acción Solidaria: 775,852 people nationwide have benefited from the Humanitarian Health Response Program

HumVenezuela, May 5, 2023.– According to research by Acción Solidaria, users of the Community Services Center in Caracas rate their income as insufficient or very insufficient, and prioritize spending on food over health. In addition, 75% do not have private health insurance.

This was explained by Feliciano Reyna and Natasha Saturno, president and enforceability coordinator of Acción Solidaria, respectively, who presented the Balance of the Humanitarian Health Response Program, a program that was born in 2016 in the context of a public assembly to discuss the lack of treatment.

A year later, this initiative was transformed into a platform for cooperation between national and international organizations that has been operating since then as a response to the Complex Humanitarian Emergency and violations of the right to health.

This program has benefited almost one million people with medicines and medical supplies throughout the country during its eight years of existence, thanks to a network of 137 partner organizations.

78% of the beneficiaries of the program surveyed at the headquarters of Acción Solidaria in Caracas said they are recurrent, that is, they have used the program’s services more than once, and 76 out of every 100 have come for the medicine donation service, “which is the most demanded”. “Most of them are women and older adults with chronic health conditions and in Venezuela the cause is not being attended”.

Hand in hand with human rights

The investigations carried out showed “a differentiated and more serious impact of the crisis on women and children and adolescents (NNA)” and according to data obtained from the report “Being a Woman in Venezuela”, one in four women do not have “never or only sometimes” disposable sanitary napkins at home. Three out of 10 women or their family members live with a health condition that requires attention. “It becomes imperative to work together between civil society and the State to design public policies with a gender perspective, as proposed by the #ConEllas Alliance.”

Natasha Saturno emphasized the need for humanitarian action to be accompanied by the enforceability of human rights, given the structural characteristics of the Complex Humanitarian Emergency that the country has been suffering for seven years.

Saturno explained that, although the objective of humanitarian aid is to mitigate suffering, in the heart of a CHE, whose cause is political, it is essential to address the cause that generates the suffering in order to really stop this emergency.

In general terms, in Venezuela “an integral response is not being given, which should be given through various disciplines. While a response is being given on the ground, the situation must be documented, generating demands and finding solutions to give a much more complete response to the situation.”

Acción Solidaria has an area of exigibility in human rights to advocate before the Inter-American and Universal Human Rights System, diplomatic bodies with representation in Venezuela, Venezuelan and international civil society organizations and the Venezuelan State.

By 2018, the year of the first registration of the program’s scope, there was a population served of 9,025 people in 21 states. As of March 2023, the figure is 775,852 people – 426,280 women and 340,661 men -, nationwide. The regions with the most beneficiaries are the Capital (Distrito Capital, Vargas, Miranda), with 586,517; Los Llanos (Guárico, Apure, Barinas), with 55,465; and Centroccidente (Falcón, Lara, Portuguesa, Yaracuy), with 37,335.