This situation report is produced by the Office for the Resident Coordinator in Venezuela with support from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and the UNETE Intersectoral coordination group. It focuses on the UN led Scale Up Strategy launched in November 2018 and covers the period January-April 2019.
• The Cooperation and Assistance Coordination Team (ECCA for its acronym in Spanish), led by the UN Resident Coordinator was established in February 2019 to facilitate national level coordination on humanitarian issues.
• A draft needs overview for Venezuela has been developed and shared with key stakeholders. The overview indicates significant humanitarian needs across sectors, including health, water, sanitation and hygiene, protection, nutrition, food security and education.
• Since 2018, with a focus on life-saving assistance, the UN and partners have made progress in scaling up their activities, including large scale vaccination coverage for communicable diseases, the provision of generators for hospitals, over 189,000 preventative and curative treatments for acute malnutrition, the strengthening of cross-border protection networks and provision of child protection and Gender Based Violence services, the provision of safe water and hygiene products to over 28,000 people and education support to almost 50,000 children.
• The number of UN staff in country has doubled since 2017, with 422 staff in Venezuela as of 29 April. To coordinate the effort closest to people in need, the UN has set up regional hubs in San Cristobal, Maracaibo and Ciudad Guayana, as well as having offices in other locations such as Guasdualito. The Scale Up has received US$61.5 million and is almost 50 percent funded. The ECCA is in the process of developing a Humanitarian Response Plan for Venezuela.
• Throughout the reporting period, the humanitarian situation in country has worsened, due to continued economic challenges, political instability, power outages and a subsequent deterioration in the provision of essential services. The most vulnerable groups include people with chronic health conditions and serious illnesses, pregnant and nursing women, newborns and children under five, indigenous people, people on the move, older persons, women and children at risk and people with disabilities among others. States along the border are those with some of the highest needs, such as Bolivar, Delta Amacuro, Amazonas, Zulia, Táchira and Apure.
• The humanitarian situation was impacted further by electricity blackouts during March, which left all states of the country without electricity. Other services such as water, education, healthcare, fuel supply and telecommunications were also affected, and some areas witnessed heightened insecurity. States along the border were the most affected, including Zulia, Táchira and Bolivar, with many hospitals not having fully functioning generators. Whilst power has been restored in many parts of the country, rationing in many states continues to take place.
• Since 23 February, the country’s borders have been closed, impacting the livelihoods and well-being of the population in Amazonas, Apure, Bolivar, Táchira and Zulia states. Many communities in these areas traditionally depend on access to cross the border for trade, employment, medical facilities and supplies and education. The closure of the borders has also forced people to use informal crossings, increasing their vulnerability to protection risks.
• Building on the existing Scale Up effort, the UN and partners are currently in the process of developing a Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) for Venezuela, focused on six sectors and two sub-sectors: health, food security and agriculture, nutrition, water, sanitation and hygiene, protection (including child protection and Gender Based Violence) and education. The HRP will build on the draft needs overview developed in March.