US increases aid budget for Venezuelan migration crisis

The United States will provide an additional US $120 million in humanitarian assistance to help Latin America cope with the arrival of millions of Venezuelan migrants fleeing a devastating economic crisis, the State Department announced Wednesday.

Venezuelans on footpath

Venezuelans on footpath. / Via REUTERS

Reuters | Julia Cobb

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Leer en español: EEUU aumenta presupuesto de ayuda para migración venezolana

More than 4 million Venezuelans left their country in recent years fleeing the political crisis and the widespread shortage of food and medicine.

The Secretary of State, John Sullivan, and the head of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Mark Green, made the announcement during a visit to the border city of Cúcuta, an epicenter of immigrants arriving from Venezuela.

Ivanka Trump, a White House adviser and daughter of US President Donald Trump, also visited Cúcuta as part of her time in Colombia, the first leg of a Latin American tour that will also take her along with Sullivan and Green to Argentina and Paraguay.

"This additional financing provides vital support, including emergency food and health assistance, to vulnerable Venezuelans in Colombia, Ecuador, Brazil and throughout the region," said a statement from the State Department.

"This assistance brings the United States contribution to the response of the Venezuelan regional crisis to more than $ 376 million, " added the State Department, which asked other donor countries to increase their contributions to address the crisis.

Read also: Peru will raise border control to prevent illegal entry of Venezuelans

Colombia became the largest recipient of Venezuelan immigrants and currently houses more than 1.4 million. Hundreds of thousands of more people reside in Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Brazil, and other countries.

The Colombian government frequently confronts Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro about security and the immigration crisis.

The two countries do not maintain diplomatic relations and Colombia, together with the United States, is among the more than 50 countries that do not recognize Maduro as the president of Venezuela, but rather support the opposition leader Juan Guaidó.

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