What Humanitarian Needs Are Most Urgent in Venezuela?
Latin America Practice Partner Francisco Sánchez spoke with The Dialogue's Latin America Advisor about humanitarian needs in Venezuela. Recently, the United Nations World Food Program and the Venezuelan government announced an agreement to provide food to 185,000 children in 2021, and the U.N. hopes to expand to program to include 1.5 million children by 2023. Mr. Sánchez called the agreement "welcome news" for the people of Venezuela, explaining that hyperinflation has made essential goods unaffordable throughout the country. He cautioned, however, that because the government is reluctant to label the food insecurity a "humanitarian crisis," the program could face obstacles such as key staff being denied work permits, which led Doctors Without Borders to withdraw from the country in late 2020.
"[Humanitarian agencies] must walk the line between working with the government and ensuring that their aid actually reaches vulnerable people," Mr. Sánchez commented. "Hopefully, this new deal will provide a model for how to do this."