Venezuela’s Humanitarian Emergency Large-Scale UN Response Needed to Address Health and Food Crises

In January 2019, hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans took to the streets, following an appeal by National Assembly president Juan Guaidó, who asked the Venezuelan people to mobilize in support of restoring constitutional order in the country. During a massive protest on January 23, Guaidó claimed that he was taking power as interim president of Venezuela and said he would call for free and fair elections. More than 50 governments have since recognized him as Venezuela’s interim president, but Nicolás Maduro continues to exercise firm control over all Venezuelan institutions, except for the opposition-controlled National Assembly.

While this political power struggle unfolds, one of the major underlying concerns for the Venezuelan people is the dramatic humanitarian crisis they are facing. In one of his first public speeches since becoming the National Assembly president on January 5, Guaidó said Venezuela was facing a humanitarian emergency and asked the international community for aid to address it.

It is impossible to know yet the full extent of the health and food crises in Venezuela. This is largely because the Venezuelan authorities have failed to publish health and nutrition data and retaliated against those who did.


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