The Assistant Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator showed his hope on Tuesday because the Venezuelan economy is showing signs of recovery, although he highlights that important humanitarian needs persist.
Martin Griffiths ended his visit to Venezuela on Tuesday, the first he has made to Latin America since his appointment in 2021.
During his visit, he met with the President of the Republic, Nicolás Maduro, and other high-ranking members of the Government, Parliament and an opposition delegation in the Mexican dialogue, as well as with UN agencies and national and international NGOs.
Together, they discussed ways to strengthen joint efforts to meet the needs of the most vulnerable people and create opportunities for Venezuelans too to start rebuilding their livelihoods and fulfill their aspirations for the future.
“I am hopeful to see that the economy is showing signs of recovery,” Griffiths said, adding that “significant humanitarian needs continue to exist” in the South American country.
For that reason, he said that it is more important than ever for the international community to show greater solidarity with the Venezuelan people so that it can be ensured that the most vulnerable, such as women, girls, boys and the elderly, are not left behind”.
However, given that Venezuela is a country with significant resources of its own, Griffiths also called on the government, the opposition and the international community to work together and reach agreements that prioritize the needs of the Venezuelan people, channel these resources to address the most urgent humanitarian and social challenges, and promote the economic recovery of the country.
In Caracas, Griffiths visited the Concepción Palacios Maternity Hospital, where he met with medical staff, pregnant women and mothers with their newborn babies. On her journey, was able to learn first-hand how humanitarian aid has contributed to strengthening health services and to reduce maternal mortality through technical assistance, provision of water, and delivery of supplies and equipment.
UNOCHA/ Gema Cortes
The response plan for 2022-2023 amounts to 795 million dollars
“I am pleased to say that, in my meetings with the authorities, we agree to publish the Humanitarian Response Plan for 2022-2023which will help facilitate access to resources for the well-being of the Venezuelan people,” Griffiths added. “We also agree to work together to improve access conditions for humanitarian partners.”
The Plan requires 795 million dollars for this year and aims to reach 5.2 million people with assistancefocusing on supporting health services, food security, nutrition, strengthening the provision of basic services, education, promoting protection and human mobility.
The Plan provides life-saving assistance, builds resilience, restores livelihoods and addresses major protection risks for the most vulnerable population groups.
Griffiths thanked international donors for their efforts to mobilize $170 million so far this year, while calling for greater solidarity and increased humanitarian funding from the international community.
“Donors are making significant efforts to mobilize humanitarian support for the Venezuelan people but we must do more,” Griffiths said, stressing that “this must also be accompanied by a greater commitment to the development of Venezuela that can build on the momentum created for these first signs of economic recovery and help turn this into opportunity and hope for millions of people,” said the Deputy Secretary General.
Griffiths also added that “the UN is willing to support a Venezuela that not only has a unique opportunity to find solutions to its own challenges, but also, in a context of global energy and food crisis, it also has the potential to contribute to global solutions for the most vulnerable”.