Brussels provides emergency aid to Venezuela

7 Jun 18

The European Commission has announced £35.1m in emergency aid to help thousands of people affected by the severe economic crisis in Venezuela.

The funds will help support Venezuelans as well as those in neighbouring countries hit by a deteriorating socio-economic situation caused by hyperinflation and food shortages.

Neven Mimica, Europe’s commissioner for international cooperation and development, said: "We are very concerned about the critical situation in Venezuela and its impact in neighbouring countries such as Colombia which are confronted by a growing influx of people fleeing Venezuela.

“This package will improve the Venezuelan people's access to food and nutrition, as well as basic services like water, sanitation and hygiene.”

Venezuela’s economic collapse comes after nearly 20 years of political and economic policies that reduced poverty in the country but were dependent upon high prices for the country’s main export, oil.

The country is a major global oil exporter and government coffers have been placed under severe pressure due to the plummeting oil prices and recent violent anti-government protests.

Oil revenues account for about 95% of export earnings and 25% of gross domestic product.

When prices dropped in 2014, the government was faced with a gaping hole in its finances and had to cut spending.

The EU funding provides €5m for health assistance, food and nutrition, water and protection for the most vulnerable people, mostly inside Venezuela

Another €5m will support conflict-prevention measures to reduce social tensions and violence and protect those displaced by the crisis.

An additional €18.1m will address food and nutrition security, water, sanitation and hygiene, the social inclusion of migrants, and support for host communities in neighbouring countries, and a further €7m aims to meet host communities’ future needs.

Last month, Nicolas Maduro was elected to a second six-year term as president amid allegations by the international community and the Venezuelan opposition that the polls were not fair.

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