Crisis Severity The severity score from 1 to 5 is based on 31 indicators aggregated into 3 pillars (impact, conditions, and complexity)4.20 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.3.60 Very lowVery high 5
Access Constraints This measures the level of humanitarian access constraints.5.0No constraintsExtreme constraints
CrisisInSight: Global Risk Report
Humanitarian Access Overview
Colombia and Venezuela: Needs and vulnerabilities of the Cam...
Venezuela: COVID-19 outbreak overwhelms health system
The deepening political and socioeconomic crisis in Venezuela has led to the collapse of basic services, deterioration of living conditions, and one of the largest international displacements ever recorded in Latin America. ?
Inside Venezuela, hyperinflation has reduced access to food, medicines, and other basic goods, while the general availability of goods is hampered by import restrictions. Pregnant women, children, and people living in impoverished parts of the country are at risk of malnutrition and food insecurity. According to food security and malnutrition indicators in the country, about 14% of all children under five in Venezuela suffer from global acute malnutrition. ? 57% of pregnant women are malnourished, and about 32.6% of the total population experiences acute food insecurity. ?
After four years, hyperinflation has decreased to below 50% since early 2021, going from 46% in January to 9.7% in September. ? The population, however, has become increasingly poor, with more people falling below the poverty line. According to the 2021 Living Conditions National Assessment conducted on 17,402 households, around 94.5% of the total population in Venezuela is poor (a 0.4 percentage points increase from 2020), and 76.6% of Venezuelan households live in extreme poverty (an increase of over 8 percentage points from 2020). Multidimensional poverty has led to the deprivation or deterioration of education, housing, overall access to public services, income, and employment. ?
The health system is affected by shortages of medical supplies and medicines and the departure of medical personnel. The incidence of vector-borne diseases has risen, and preventable diseases such as measles have re-emerged. Access to clean water is increasingly difficult after the collapse of basic services, aggravating water and sanitation problems. Only 13.6% of the population in cities has regular water supply, and four out of ten households suffer daily electricity outages. ? The current crisis has also led to an increase in repression and human rights abuses. At least 620 arbitrary arrests for political reasons have been recorded since the beginning of the pandemic. ? INFORM measures Venezuela’s risk of humanitarian crisis at 4.5/10 in 2021. ?
No significant recent humanitarian developments. This crisis is being monitored by our analysis team.
Humanitarian access constraints have deteriorated over the last six months in Venezuela as a result of additional restrictions on humanitarian workers. Despite the humanitarian crisis, the Government denies the severity of the crisis and the existence of needs. Shortages of food and drinking water, as well as limited access to health and education, are some of the sectorial needs of those affected that the Government does not recognise to their full extent. Political opposition is often persecuted by police forces, making the reporting and publishing of data on the conditions in Venezuela difficult and risky and limiting access to information essential for humanitarian responders.
There are also new bureaucratic restrictions on humanitarian actors’ access to the country. Since May 2021, the Special Automated Registry of Non-Domiciled Non-Governmental Organisations has been in force in Venezuela. The introduction of this regulation, which can deny access on the grounds of public order or sovereignty, was supposed to be a positive development for a formalisation of the presence of INGOs in the country; to date, its only partial implementation has turned out to be an impediment.
There are reports of humanitarian aid being confiscated. The presence and clashes of armed groups on the Venezuela-Colombia border also add to access constraints. These conflicts increase confinement events for the affected population and their displacement away from services. Checkpoints controlled by armed groups or military forces restrict the passage of humanitarian aid.
Natural disasters such as flooding and landslides are frequent in Venezuela (mainly during the rainy season from May to the end of November) and hamper access to the people affected in remote areas.
Read more in the latest ACAPS Humanitarian Access Overview.
The demobilisation and subsequent withdrawal from the Colombian-Venezuelan border of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC-EP) following the 2016 peace agreement strengthened other armed groups, mainly the National Liberation Army (ELN) and FARC-EP dissidents, in Colombia and Venezuela border departments.?
Strict COVID-19 prevention measures imposed in 2020, including mobility restrictions, reduced drug-trafficking income for armed groups in Colombia.? The reduction pushed the groups to revert to other illegal markets, including human smuggling and trafficking, increasing their armed activity along the border.? The armed conflict, previously essentially limited to Colombia, started acquiring a cross-border characteristic in 2020, with increasingly regular clashes on both Colombia and Venezuela sides. Disputes between armed groups on the Venezuelan side of the border also began in January 2022. The ELN and FARC-EP dissidents had a non-aggression and territorial division agreement. The alleged assassination of some leaders of the FARC-EP dissidents by ELN forces in December 2021 broke this agreement and marked the beginning of the fight for territorial control and expansion.?
Since the beginning of 2022, the Venezuelan army has also been responding to attempts by FARC-EP dissidents to expand their territory along the border.? In the past, the ELN and the FARC-EP dissident group known as La Segunda Marquetalia could continue their activity without the intervention of the Venezuelan army.? The emergence of new dissident groups, such as the 10th Front, has prompted the Venezuelan army to respond militarily.?
The new conflict dynamics show a marked deterioration of the conflict situation at the Colombia-Venezuela border and a risk of further conflict expansion and intensification in some areas in Venezuela. The lack of diplomatic relations between Colombia and Venezuela, which got severed in 2019, aggravates this situation.?
These conflict dynamics are expected to result in insecurity and violence against civilians on both sides of the border. In January, clashes in the area between Apure (Venezuela) and Arauca (Colombia) killed at least 61 people and displaced over 1,800 Colombians and 370 Venezuelans.?
In other border departments, such as Vichada, conflict displaced more than 1,200 Venezuelan citizens to the other side of the border between 10 January and 10 March.? Landmine accidents have killed at least eight people in Venezuela in 2022.?
The intensification of violence in Venezuela will likely increase cross-border displacement, as the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela makes it difficult for IDPs to get assistance. The planting of landmines on Venezuelan territory will likely increase civilian casualties. Increased armed group presence may also lead to the confinement of communities. The targeted assassination of civilians can be expected to increase, as armed groups assume that those who do not support them are allied with their enemies.?
Previous cross-border displacements saw a lack of food, shelter, and sanitation facilities, and education and health services were nearly impossible to obtain.? The cross-border nature of the conflict means there is little clarity regarding who should respond to these displacements, and there are serious limitations to humanitarian response in Venezuela.?
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 29 April 2021, about 195,000 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 ?