In 2018, inflation in Venezuela exceeded one million percent. The economic crisis has affected the country’s healthcare system and caused a lack of basic medication. The result is a growing number of people lacking treatment for chronic illnesses and emergency medical care. More than three million Venezuelans (about 10 percent of the population) have left the country since 2015, with 47 percent of families declaring at least one family member who migrated and 76 percent of families report having sold their belongings to buy food.
Hyperinflation and severe scarcity of food and essential goods have severely compromised the lives and livelihoods of a large part of the population. According to the ENCOVI (Encuesta sobre Condiciones de Vida) survey in 2017, over 87 percent of households live in poverty, while 61 percent live in extreme poverty and 80 percent are food-insecure.
As of July 2018, between 50 and 60 percent of children aged 3-17 years were out of school due to lack of food, water, clothing, transport or teachers. School dropout reaches 80 percent in border states.
Homicide rates are among the highest in the world (89 deaths per 100 000 inhabitants in 2017), and violence is increasingly hunger-related.
Several large outbreaks of infectious disease have occurred, including measles, diphtheria, and malaria as preventive programmes are discontinued and sanitary conditions deteriorate. As of July 2018, a total of 2 569 cases had been confirmed since the first measles case in 2017, including 44 deaths.
Infant mortality (aged 0-1) rose by 30 percent, maternal mortality by 65 percent and cases of malaria by 76 percent in 2017.
Since 2016, the European Union has allocated more than €90 million in emergency humanitarian aid, to assist Venezuelans in need inside the country, and those hosted in neighbouring countries.
EU humanitarian assistance is delivered through U.N. agencies, international non-governmental organisations (NGOs), and the Red Cross movement who implement projects covering the broad spectrum of humanitarian needs.
The aid focuses on addressing the most pressing needs of the affected population, targeting the most vulnerable groups such as, children under five years of age, pregnant and breastfeeding mothers, the elderly, and indigenous groups.
The assistance to refugees and internally displaced people focuses on emergency medical services, food assistance, the provision of legal information and support, protection initiatives (specifically against gender-based violence and human trafficking), education in emergencies, and shelter.