Venezuela: Malteser International condemns the politicization of aid
Picture: Malteser International’s health teams are providing medical care for Venezuela refugees near the border town of Maicao in the departments of La Guajira and Magdalena in northern Colombia. Photo: Florian Kopp/Malteser International
Malteser International has criticized 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.
Sid Peruvemba, Malteser International’s Program Director warned that the politicization of humanitarian aid in Venezuela is exacerbating the ongoing humanitarian crisis in the country. “The delivery of aid materials to millions of Venezuelans is being politically instrumentalized by all parties and the people’s plight has become some political football,” he said. “The situation at the border once again shows how important it is to provide humanitarian aid free of political considerations. This is a basic international consensus that is now being violated here to the detriment of the people.”
Who are Malteser Inertnational?
Malteser International is the worldwide humanitarian relief agency of the Sovereign Order of Malta. For over 60 years, they have provided relief and recovery during and following conflicts and disasters. Christian values and humanitarian principles form the foundations of their work: bringing aid to people regardless of their religion, background, or political convictions at over 100 Projects in more than 20 countries.
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. The most vulnerable among them have also received cash assistance.