Power cuts, supply crises, sanctions, political turmoil, and the rapid devaluing of the Venezuelan currency has left an entire country on the brink of collapse. Venezuela’s economy is the worst it’s ever been. What was left of its fragile healthcare system collapsed when COVID-19 hit in 2020.
Life’s bare essentials like food, fuel, medicine, and water are impossible to come by for millions of Venezuelans, many of whom make a monthly wage that barely buys a dozen eggs, due to massive inflation. By 2015, one in six Venezuelans had to leave the country to find work—and they’re the ones lucky enough to be able to move. Venezuela is now the poorest nation in Latin America. In some of the places we work, 75% of families go hungry.
All of this in a country that sits on the largest known oil reserves in the world.
In 2020, we began serving on the border of Colombia and Venezuela, providing medical and mental health care, legal assistance, and food to thousands of Venezuelans who made the dangerous crossing for medicine and nourishment.
When local communities reached out to our team, highlighting the urgent need for food elsewhere in the country, we began distributing food packs so families can eat for a month. Our teams navigate unbelievable challenges to get food to thousands of people that need it most. Among other things, they can be found delivering food on foot when fuel is not available or too expensive.
Food security is a major concern in Venezuela. A generation of children are growing up malnourished, and more people are resorting to violence just to eat. We’re getting starving families the food they need, as quickly as possible. While we address immediate hunger, we’re also working to develop sustainable farming projects to provide local communities with food and jobs. And we’re in the early stages of setting up a mobile clinic so those on the margins can get the care they so desperately need.