U.S. aid will help feed Venezuelans

Photo of people standing in line and statistics on weight lost in one year due to hunger (Source: Encuesta Nacional de Condiciones de Vida de la Población Venezolana, 2018. Photo © Ariana Cubillos/AP Images)

Venezuela continues to face an immense humanitarian crisis that the former regime of Nicolás Maduro caused through years of corruption and economic mismanagement. Venezuela was once a rich country, but now 94 percent of Venezuelan households are unable to afford food and other needs.

At a Venezuela solidarity event in Florida, Vice President Pence emphasized the human element of the crisis. “More than 9 out of 10 people live in poverty, and the average Venezuelan has lost more than 20 pounds [9 kilograms] through deprivation and malnutrition,” Pence said. “Thousands of Venezuelan children are starving at this very hour.”

To address this ongoing crisis, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recently announced $20 million in aid in initial humanitarian assistance for Venezuelans, on top of the $140 million in humanitarian and development aid for surrounding countries to support the more than 3.6 million Venezuelans who have fled Maduro’s tyranny.

In the coming days, the United States will be working with the legitimate transitional government of interim President Juan Guaidó to ensure that aid can safely reach the people of Venezuela.

“The United States will continue to stand with the Venezuelan people,” Pence said. “We will continue to stand up to their oppressors.”