They’ve lost their homes and most of their money, so we’re providing destitute families with vital aid.
The economic and political crisis in Venezuela has plunged 90% of the population into poverty, creating an acute humanitarian crisis. More than 4 million people have left the country since 2015, and this number is only expected to increase.
More than 2 million of them now live in Colombia and Peru, many sleeping rough on the streets, at risk of disease and malnutrition. Many children, particularly those that traveled alone, are at risk of trafficking or recruitment into armed groups.
How your support is changing lives in Venezuela
With your support, however, we’re active in Colombia and Peru, including life-saving health services; cash grants so that families can buy food and other essential items; and temporary learning spaces so that children have a place they can learn, play and recover from what they’ve been through.
As well as sanitation facilities such as toilets and safe water so that people don’t rely on unsafe water sources that can make them unwell and cause disease outbreaks. “I used to have to push a cart all the way to a farm to collect water for my family,” says Marcos, 12, currently sharing a one-room shack with his parents, grandmother and two siblings in Maicao, Colombia. Now Save the Children provides Marcos and his family with safe drinking water. “Now I use the same little cart to play instead.”
With many pregnant women unable to see a doctor in Venezuela, our emergency health teams’ services in Columbia, on the Venezuelan border, include counselling and prenatal care. Children often haven’t been to school for years, but now our temporary learning centres are getting them back into education.
We’re supporting children at risk of abuse, too. Our staff have reached more than 123,000 people, including 78,000 children, despite having to cope with limited resources and an insecure political environment in Colombia.
Planning for the future
But with the number of Venezuelans here alone expected to reach 2.4 million by the end of 2020, it is critical that we do more. We need the help of our supporters now more than ever to provide life-saving assistance to those in need.
Mother-of-five Noraima had been under a tree in Maicao, having had to leave four of her children back in Venezuela, until we gave her a cash grant to build a shelter and reunite the family. “Without Save the Children, I don’t know where we would be,” she says. “I will be eternally grateful.”