Crisis Severity The severity score from 1 to 5 is based on 31 indicators aggregated into 3 pillars (impact, conditions, and complexity)4.00 Very lowVery high 5
Impact This measures the impact of the crisis itself, in terms of the scope of its geographical, and human effects.4.90 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: Situational update and 2019 outlook
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. ? 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. 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. ?
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. 59% of households 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. ?
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 entranc eof humanitarian aid. Maduro breaks diplomatic relationship with Colombia.
5 Aug 2019
US president Trump announces expansion of sanctions against Venezuela.
Very high constraints
The delivery of humanitarian assistance is politicised, representing apoint of contention in the political struggle between the government and the opposition. The government in power publicly denies the need for aid, posing obstacles to organisations active on a field level. At the same time, however, humanitarian coordination structures were set up after February 2019. While international humanitarian staff is allowed to enter the county, the difficult process to register organisations and a ban on imports hamper humanitarian operations. Visa restrictions depending on nationality of origin remain unpredictable. Access levels are not even across the country, with entire areas under the control of armed groups, organised crime, or paramilitary forces. People in need across the country face difficulties accessing services. Access is hindered by a volatile security situation, inadequate infrastructure, frequent blackouts, lack of fuel and resources.
Read more in the latest ACAPS Humanitarian Access Overview.
- 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. ?
On 13 March the Colombian government announced the immediate closure of all borders on 17 March until 30 May in attempt to limit the spread of Covid-19. This will increase the number of migrants who chose to move via irregular crossing points which puts them at greater exposure to armed groups and natural hazards. The measures will also affect Venezuelans who rely on medicine, medical supplies and other goods to be supplied from Colombia. Migrants and refugees from Venezuela, especially those who are not registered, will be particularly vulnerable to the spread of Covid-19. The conditions in which Venezuelan migrants find themselves including homelessness and overcrowded shelters, with no access to basic sanitation facilities, are conducive to the spread of diseases.?
Find more information about the global impact of COVID-19 here.