U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Office of the Spokesperson
For Immediate Release
STATEMENT BY MORGAN ORTAGUS, SPOKESPERSON
September 4, 2019
Deputy Secretary John Sullivan and United States Agency for International Development Administrator Mark Green announced September 4 in Cúcuta, Colombia more than $120 million in additional U.S. humanitarian assistance to address the largest external displacement of persons in the Hemisphere’s history. Also present were Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump and members of interim President Guaidó’s coalition. Maduro’s rampant corruption, brutal repression, and vast social and economic mismanagement has forced more than 4.3 million Venezuelans to flee.
This additional funding provides vital support, including emergency food and health assistance, to vulnerable Venezuelans in Colombia, Ecuador, Brazil, and throughout the region. This assistance brings the U.S. contribution to the Venezuelan regional crisis response to more than $376 million – including nearly $334 million in humanitarian aid and $43 million in economic and development assistance – since FY2017.
The political and economic crisis – reported to be one of the world’s deepest economic declines outside of war or natural disaster in the last half century – has left the people of Venezuela facing a depth of suffering not before seen in this once prosperous country. The devastating and corrupt policies of the former Maduro regime have created living conditions inside Venezuela that include a 65 percent rise in maternal mortality between 2015-2016, 94 percent of households living in poverty in 2018, and 90 percent of hospitals reporting shortages of medicine and critical supplies, along with severe shortages of electricity.
The United States commends interim President Juan Guaidó and the National Assembly for addressing and prioritizing this humanitarian crisis.
The United States will continue to support the people of Venezuela during this humanitarian crisis. We salute Colombia and neighboring countries for their continued support as well, and we call upon other donors to make or increase contributions to help address the crisis.