More than 100,000 Venezuelans have been forced to return to their home country in recent months due to the pandemic, with some walking for thousands of miles after facing job losses and business closures while working abroad because of national lockdowns. Hospitals continue to be understaffed, and the nurses that risk their lives to show up for work take home barely enough money to buy the day’s groceries. International Medical Corps is one of only a few international non-governmental organizations to receive import licensing to support healthcare facilities in Venezuela. As concerns around COVID-19 have continued to grow, our team is participating in coordination meetings with UN agencies, INGOs, key health officials and mayors of municipalities, has been coordinating with directors of health facilities in Miranda state and will be meeting with officials in Táchira and Bolivar states. To meet growing needs, we have imported PPE—including gloves and masks—and inter-agency emergency health kits that include basic medicines, equipment and supplies to provide lifesaving services to 10,000 people for approximately three months. Our Venezuela team has provided COVID-19 training for 69 frontline staff in three health facilities. Since late February, our response has reached 63,132 beneficiaries. As programming accelerates in Venezuela, the International Medical Corps team is continuing to provide critical donations and PPE to the overtaxed healthcare systems. The team continues to actively coordinate with UN agencies, INGOs, key health officials and mayors of municipalities, and directors of health facilities in Miranda and Bolivar states.
International Medical Corps’ shipment of personal protective equipment (PPE) and medical supplies arrives as part of a humanitarian aid shipment, supported by the United Nations and Switzerland, in Venezuela on June 20. PPE and supplies will distributed in Táchira, Miranda and Bolivar states.