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The US commits more than 171 million dollars in aid for Venezuelans

The US commits more than 171 million dollars in aid for Venezuelans

USA pledged more than $171 million in humanitarian assistance and development funds Friday at a donors’ conference to help Venezuelans affected by the economic and political crisis of the South American country.

Some seven million people have fled Venezuela in the wake of the economic and social crisis of recent years, with the majority now dispersed throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, according to United Nations figures. Many face difficulties in accessing basic services, food and formal employment.

“This new funding will help provide food, medical care, emergency shelter, and access to legal and protective services”US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield said in a virtual presentation at the conference in Brussels.

In a statement, the United States Agency for Development (USAID, for its acronym in English) said that 84 million dollars of the funds will go to humanitarian assistance, providing direct aid to Venezuelans who remain in the country, while that 31 million will be used to help the economic integration of Venezuelans who have fled to Colombia and Ecuador.

The remaining $56 million will support a series of humanitarian programs for Venezuelans and their host communities, covering emergency shelter, access to health care and protection of vulnerable groups, USAID added.

The funding announcement comes after Washington said last September it would provide nearly $376 million in humanitarian aid to Venezuelans.

The United States backs Venezuela’s opposition, recognizes its parallel legislature, and condemns what it says is the dictatorship of President Nicolás Maduro.

Under the administration of former President Donald Trump, the United States intensified its sanctions against the South American country. It froze and seized Venezuelan government funds at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and then used the funds to support opposition lawmakers and assistance programs such as health care workers.

The Venezuelan opposition has complained that the US authorization process, necessary to replace the previous contact person for the distribution of funds, opposition leader Juan Guaidó, has been delayed. They say the funds will also help humanitarian efforts.

Maduro’s government opposes what it says is foreign interference by the United States in its politics and has said the opposition stole funds belonging to the people that could be used for social and medical support.

Source: Reuters

Source: Gestion

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