The United Nations has approved $9.2 million USD in humanitarian aid to Venezuela as the nation descends further and further into social and economic crisis.
The resources, which have been allocated by the U.N. Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), will aim to fund emergency healthcare to the most vulnerable and food provisions for young children, pregnant women, and breastfeeding mothers.
According to Reuters, this is the first time that CERF has stepped in to release emergency funding for victims of the Venezuelan crisis, which has prompted a mass exodus in recent years that is only increasing as head of state Nicolas Maduro holds on to power despite widespread international condemnation and internal opposition.
At least one million Venezuelans are now living in Colombia and the Bogotá mayor’s office recently established the first formal shelter camp to house around 500 of the many fleeing Venezuelans who have been living homeless in the capital after arriving with little more than the clothes on their back.
The European Union earmarked $41 million USD earlier this year for Venezuelan victims, and the United States has allocated at least $46 million USD in aid specifically for migrants who have fled to Colombia.
While some have criticized the conditions at the camp established in Bogotá, which officials have stressed is temporary and will be removed in the early months of 2019, Colombia has received praise for its willingness to take in migrants.
“We congratulate the Colombian state because the measures adopted by the executive and judicial branches of government represent good practices for the region and the world, insofar as they demonstrate that migration policies can be based on a human rights approach and be aimed at reception and integration, instead of rejection and discrimination, as is the case in other countries,” said Francisco Eguiguren, country rapporteur for Colombia and Venezuela at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR).