Humanitarian assistance to people affected by the protracted crisis in Venezuela

Despite a moderate recovery in some economic indicators during 2022, the Venezuelan economy continues to contract during 2023. Meanwhile, there is no improvement in the structural causes of the humanitarian crisis. As a result, the needs of the most vulnerable are still high. Therefore, Caritas aims to facilitate access on health, nutrition, food security and livelihoods, for vulnerable families in eight states according to the Guidance Note for Venezuela 2022-2024. 

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Climate change and environment
Primary health care
Basic nutrition
Disaster risk reduction DRR
Water sanitation
01.09.2023 - 31.12.2024
CHF  625’000
Background According to data presented by the Venezuelan Observatory of Finance, the Venezuelan economy contracted by 8.3% during the first three months of 2023, which directly affects the cost of the Basic Food Basket (CBA) and the purchasing power of the socio-economic classes. For food access, the cost of the CBA for a family of five stood at USD 526.27 in June 2023, while the monthly minimum wage is 130 bolivares, less than 5 dollars at the official rate. Additionally, according to figures from the Venezuelan Health Observatory, almost 80% of the population is food insecure, while 12.3 million people in Venezuela (of estimaded 28 million in total) are reported to be food insecure, and of these, 2.1 million are severely food insecure. At the national level, deficits in public services of electricity, water, gas and telecommunications are a constant in every state. In relation to access to safe water, the availability of safe water has decreased across the country in the last six months.In terms of health, the local organisation Convite reported that medicine shortages in Venezuela reached 26.6% at the end of April 2023, impacting on the morbidity of patients suffering from diseases such as diabetes (35.1%), acute respiratory infections (33.6%) and convulsions (32%).
Objectives Contribute to preserve lives of vulnerable population in 4 states of Venezuela through an integral approach (Food Security and Livelihoods, Health, Nutrition and WASH) in conjunction with capacity building of Caritas Venezuela on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR). 
Target groups

Direct beneficiaries SDC: a total of 17’600 (11’760 female / 5’840 male) 

A total of  4’400 people in each state (Falcón, Miranda, La Guaira, Amazonas) 

Indirect SDC beneficiaries: 41’400 people 

Medium-term outcomes

Outcome 1: Strengthen the capacities of the Caritas related Dioceses and the community in Disaster Risk Reduction management. 

Outcome 2: Improve access to health and nutrition services for children (NN), pregnant and lactating women (MEL) and elderly (AM) at community level with a cross-cutting Food Security and Livelihoods approach targeting identified malnourished individuals.


Expected results:  

Output 1.1: Strengthen community capacities in Disaster Risk Reduction

Output 2.1: Improve access to food consumption and livelihoods opportunities for prioritised vulnerable families

Output 2.2: Facilitate access to information, materials and inputs in water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), targeting children and pregnant and lactacting women and their families

Output 2.3: Ensure access to health services in communities, including the provision of drugs

Output 2.4: Ensure access to nutrition services in communities.

PS: the assistance will be provided in 8 States: (for SDC funds :Falcón, Miranda, La Guaira, Amazonas) (for Caritas funds: Sucre, Merida, Portuguesa, Lara)

Results from previous phases:  

  • 6,700 children under 5 years of age (51% girls and 49% boys) and 3,460 pregnant and lactating women were screened to determine their nutritional status. 
  • 4,602 children with severe malnutrition were attended by the Nutritional Attention Programme (Programa de Atención Nutricional), while 1,115 women received nutritional support
  • 500 food parcels delivered. 
  • 265 families (1'325 people) benefited from cash transfers to cover or strengthen their nutrition.
  • Capacity building in advocacy, information management and monitoring in 16 regional Caritas and their administrative staff and dedicated volunteers.

Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Project partners Contract partner
International or foreign NGO
  • Other international or foreign NGO North
  • Caritas Venezuela has been an implementing partner of SDC since 2016. Caritas Venezuela is a non-governmental advocacy and assistance organisation of the Catholic Church. It was established by the Venezuelan Episcopal Conference in 1997.

Coordination with other projects and actors

Caritas will work in alliance with UNICEF, Gov. Civil Protection and Caritas International. 
The project is aligned with the HRP 2022 – 2023 and Caritas participates and coordinates with: 

  • the clusters on Nutrition, WASH, Food Security, Health and Cash Transfer.  
  • the Humanitarian Country Team (HCT), UN Agencies (eg. UNICEF) and the National Platform of Humanitarian Action. 

In addition, Caritas also participates in the Church Social Network, Forums of national NGO in Defence of Human Rights and the Interreligious Forum. 

Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    625’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    526’491
Project phases Phase 5 01.09.2023 - 31.12.2024   (Current phase) Phase 1 12.12.2016 - 05.08.2018   (Completed)