Crisis Severity The severity score from 1 to 5 is based on 31 indicators aggregated into 3 pillars (impact, conditions, and complexity)4.10 Very lowVery high 5
Impact This measures the impact of the crisis itself, in terms of the scope of its geographical, and human effects.5.00 Very lowVery high 5
Humanitarian Conditions This measures the conditions and status of the people affected, including info about the distribution of severity.4.00 Very lowVery high 5
Complexity This measures the complexity of the crisis, in terms of factors that affect its mitigation or resolution.3.30 Very lowVery high 5
Access Constraints This measures the level of humanitarian access constraints.4.0No constraintsExtreme constraints
Venezuela: COVID-19 outbreak overwhelms health system
The deepening political and socio-economic crisis in Venezuela has led to the collapse of services, deterioration of living conditions, and one of the biggest mass displacements in the history of South America. ?
Inside Venezuela, hyperinflation and increased prices have reduced access to food, medicines, and other basic goods, while the general availability of goods is hampered by import restrictions. In recent years, malnutrition has reached emergency thresholds for children under 5, with 50% exhibiting some degree of malnutrition, and some 280,000 at risk of death due to undernourishment. Pregnant women and people in impoverished parts of the country are also more vulnerable to malnutrition. ?
The population is increasingly poor, with more people falling below the poverty line as well as worsening poverty levels, more vulnerable to epidemic outbreaks, and lacking access to basic services and food. In 2020 the poverty rate (3,2 $/day) has reached 76% ?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. Access to clean water is increasingly difficult due to the collapse of basic services, exacerbating water and sanitation problems. Only 18% of the population residing inside Venezuela receive clean water in a continuous and consistent way and only 10% have continuous access to electricity. 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. ?INFORM measures Venezuela's risk of humanitarian crisis in 2020 as medium at 4.6/10. ?
20/11/2020: Heavy rainfall caused by Hurricane Iota has triggered flooding in northern Venezuela. Over 8,200 households are affected across the states of Táchira, Lara, and Zulia, and five people have died. There are power outages, water shortages, and widespread damage to houses, roads, and bridges in these states. Heavy rainfall in Táchira continued through 19 November.?
Since 29 September, more than 100 protests have taken place in different rural areas of Venezuela due to worsening fuel shortages, constant electricity and running water cuts. Security forces have repressed the demonstrations and arrested at least 50 people.?
ACAPS' team is daily monitoring the impact of COVID-19. Find more information related to the outbreak here. For more information related to the outbreak in the Venezuelan refugee crisis, see content below.
6 Dec 2015
First shift of power since Chavez. The opposition wins the majority of seats National Assembly.
15 Jan 2016
Maduro officially declares the state of economic emergency.
20 May 2018
Maduro wins national elections, among protest from opposition and international observers.
10 Jan 2019
Maduro is sworn in for his second term, Venezuela’s National Assembly declares 2018 elections invalid.
3 Jan 2019
Juan Guaidó, president of the National Assembly, self-declared interim president during anti-government protests in Caracas.
18 Feb 2019
Maduro announces he will refuse any international aid.
23 Feb 2019
Tension at the border with Colombia around the entrance of humanitarian aid. Maduro breaks diplomatic relationship with Colombia.
5 Aug 2019
US president Trump announces expansion of sanctions against Venezuela.
Very high constraints
Humanitarian assistance remains highly politicised in Venezuela and aid organizations face obstacles when implementing their operations.
Humanitarian coordination structures were set up in 2019. Since then more humanitarian organisations have been allowed to access the country. However, difficult administrative processes and limitations on imports hamper humanitarian operations. Access is hindered by inadequate infrastructure, frequent blackouts, and lack of fuel.
Access levels are not equal across the country, with entire areas under the control of armed groups, or paramilitary forces, making the situation particularly volatile, and affecting safe access to aid and services across the country.
Read more in the latest ACAPS Humanitarian Access Overview.
IMPACT OF COVID-19
Many Venezuelan refugees and migrants working in the informal economy in Colombia, Brazil, and Peru have lost their livelihoods and face poverty, evictions, food insecurity, and increased protection risks as a result of the pandemic. Around 105,000 Venezuelans have returned to Venezuela since March.?In 13 March the Colombian government announced the immediate closure of all borders to limit the spread of the virus but kept open two humanitarian corridors for returnees. On 21 August, Venezuelan authorities closed the humanitarian corridor from Norte de Santander, the main one used by returnees. This has left thousands of Venezuelans stranded along the border.?
As of 4 September, about 50,000 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Venezuela. Limited testing means this figure is likely an underestimate. 40% of all cases have been in the border states of Zulia, Apure, Bolívar and Táchira. Returnees that test positive are sent to temporary shelters for a 15-day quarantine. These shelters have been lacking food supplies since the beginning of the outbreak. Venezuela’s healthcare system urgently needs medical staff, supplies and equipment, and water, sanitation and hygiene services.?
Find more information about the global impact of COVID-19 here.
A recent food security assessment published by the World Food Program estimates that 2.3 million Venezuelans are severely food insecure (IPC Phase 4) and additional seven million are moderately food insecure (IPC Phase 3). The assessment was carried out in Venezuela between July and September 2019. One out of three Venezuelans is food insecure and in need of assistance. The most affected states are: Delta Amacuro, Amazonas, Falcon, Zulia and Bolivar.
Although food is available, access to it is difficult as prices are too high due to hyperinflation. 74% of households experience a food insecurity level between moderate to high and 80% of the population have insufficient income to buy food and have engaged in coping strategies such as reduced portion size of meals, accepting food as payment or sell family assets to cover basic needs. Access to potable water, irregular gas supply and lack of dietary diversity are also major concerns.?
This is one of the first assessments to come out with data regarding the humanitarian situation in Venezuela as the Government has historically placed access restrictions for international organizations. It is unclear whether additional assessments will be undertaken in the country. ?
- Food security: Food security is deteriorating, particularly due to hyperinflation. A recent survey estimates that around 2.3 million Venezuelans are severely food insecure (IPC Phase 4) and additional seven million are moderately food insecure (IPC Phase 3). ?
- Health: The health system in the country has been particularly affected. It is estimated that 40% of hospitals in the country lack electricity and 70% do not have regular access to water. A recent survey carried out in March 2020 also report shortages of gloves, desinfenctant, soap and face masks ?