Overview

The deepening political and socio-economic crisis in Venezuela has led to the collapse of services, deterioration of humanitarian conditions within the country, and one of the biggest mass displacements in the history of South America.

Inside Venezuela, hyperinflation and price increases reduce access to food, medicine, and other basic goods, while the general availability of goods is hampered by import restrictions. The population is increasingly poor, vulnerable to epidemic outbreaks (measles, diphtheria, and malaria) and lacking access to basic services and food.? The current crisis has also led to an increase in repression and human rights abuses. Arbitrary detention of over 900 people for political reasons has been reported. ?

3.4 million Venezuelans have already fled the country, and there is no indication the influx will slow down in the near future. UNHCR projects the number of Venezuelans fleeing their country will reach 5.3 million by the end of 2019. ?Many Venezuelans in host countries are in urgent need of food, nutrition, health, and WASH assistance. Protection assistance is also crucial, including legal help with documentation in order to access healthcare and employment. Venezuelan migrants also face growing xenophobia from host communities, and are at risk of exploitation, trafficking, and SGBV.?

See our special reports on Venezuela

Latest Developments

12/03: Venezuela has been experiencing a major nation-wide power and communications outage since 7 March. The blackout is impacting scarce food supplies, water pumps, and endangering hospital patients, with some 21 casualties reported. Should the power outage persist, the toll is likely to get even higher. Many schools, public offices, and businesses remain closed as a result, and sporadic looting and spontaneous protests have been reported. ?

21/01: The number of Venezuelans fleeing their country is expected to reach 5.3 million by the end of 2019. The economic situation will likely continue to deteriorate, with the inflation rate predicted to reach 10,000,000% in 2019, a significant increase from the 1,700,000% at the end of 2018. ?

Key figures

  • 3,400,000 people are estimated to have fled Venezuela since 2015, equivalent to 10% of the population  [?]
  • 25,000,000 people in Venezuela living in poverty  [?]
  • 10,000,000 % inflation rate predicted for 2019  [?]

Key priorities

Food: Inflation has significantly decreased the purchasing power of Venezuelan households. Food shortages in combination with the high price of food has led to a severe food security crisis.?

Health: The health system is disrupted by shortages of medical supplies, medicine, and personnel departures. Incidence of vector-borne diseases has risen and preventable diseases such as measles have re-emerged.?

Nutrition: 12% of the Venezuelan population is undernourished, both inside Venezuela and in host countries.?

Information Gaps and needs

  • The government largely denies the scale of humanitarian needs and restricts access for international organisations.
  • Due to a significant lack of data, it is unclear how humanitarian needs vary across the country, both by severity and geographic distribution, particularly urban-rural.