EU gives €5m extra to Venezuela

8 Feb 19

The European Union will give an additional €5m in humanitarian aid to help vulnerable people in Venezuela as the country continues to suffer economic and political unrest.

The EU funding is in addition to €34m of humanitarian support the bloc gave Venezuela in 2018.

Christos Stylianides, commissioner for humanitarian aid and crisis management at the commission, said: “We are stepping up our emergency aid to help the most vulnerable who lack access to food, medicines and basic services and have been forced to leave their homes.

“We will also continue to support Venezuelans and host communities in neighbouring countries.”

The EU is also opening a humanitarian office in Caracas, it said.

Venezuela is facing its fifth year of continuous economic recession and hyperinflation. This has caused a collapse of the health and education systems, shortages of food and medicines, as well as ongoing violence and insecurity.

Further economic and policy turmoil in the country was caused when the EU, the US and several other countries recognised Juan Guaido as Venezuela’s head of state. He declared himself interim president last month after disputed elections won by the socialist president Nicolas Maduro. Maduro was sworn in for a second term last month. 

Maduro accuses Guaido of attempting to stage a coup directed by Washington. Following Guaido’s declaration, hundreds of thousands of people protested against Maduro, triggering violent clashes with police in which at least 40 people have died.

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