Venezuela: Malteser International criticizes the lack of neutrality for exacerbating the ongoing humanitarian crisis
NEW YORK - Feb. 25, 2019 - PRLog -- Malteser International criticizes the politicization of aid in Venezuela after shipments of humanitarian aid intended for Venezuela were forcefully repelled from entering the country on Saturday. According to media reports, violent clashes between security forces and protesters along Venezuela's borders with Brazil and Colombia left 14 people dead and 285 wounded, while some trucks loaded with aid materials were set on fire.
Ravi Tripptrap, Malteser International's Executive Director in the Americas warned that recent violence at the country's borders is exacerbating the ongoing humanitarian crisis in the country and in Colombian border communities where the organization is helping refugees. "Millions of Venezuelans are suffering and now life-saving aid is being withheld and the humanitarian imperative of neutrality is not being upheld. The result is that the lives of children and mothers are at stake," he said. "The violence at the border underscores the importance of humanitarian aid being neutral and free of political considerations. This is a basic international consensus that is now being violated here to the detriment of the people."
Three million Venezuelans have so far left the country because of the crisis. More than one million have fled to Colombia. Malteser International has now expanded its aid activities in Colombia as a response to the deteriorating situation. Malteser International's health teams are working with local hospitals and mobile units near the border town of Maicao in the departments of La Guajira and Magdalena in northern Colombia, providing medical care services, supporting people with supplementary food, medicines, and sanitary items, while providing them information on good hygienic practices to reduce the spread of diseases. The most vulnerable among them have also received cash assistance.
To support Malteser International's refugee efforts at the Venezuela-Colombia border, please donate today.
For more info on Malteser International and the relief and development efforts in the Americas, please visit the website, orderofmaltarelief.org.