Venezuela

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October 2020
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UNHCR, 2020

 Highlights

  • The cluster, through partner organisations, benefited 143,603 people in October 2020 who received assistance to improve their shelter conditions, access to energy/electricity, and/or received assistance through NFI distributions. Given the heavy rains registered in October, which have compromised the access to safe shelter for thousands of families, part of the assistance provided was channelled towards those states affected by severe flooding.
  • During October 2020, the decrease in people returning spontaneously to Venezuela continues and the Government-led Puntos de Atención Social Integral (PASI) in border municipalities and central states where spontaneous returnees are isolated are progressively becoming inactive or closed in border municipalities and central states. Some of them are reportedly being used to shelter families whose houses were severely affected by the flloding.
  • The Cluster finalised the logframe and sectoral guide for the Humanitarian Response Plan (2021) and initiated the project proposal submission cycle from partner organisations until 20 November through HPC.tools.

NFI

Shelter

Need analysis

  • During October 2020 and despite the border remains closed, the number of people leaving the country through informal crossings has reportedly increased compared to the previous months. Providing access to a safe shelter, basic services (including electricity) and basic NFIs for people on the move with specific needs is a priority.
  • The rainy season continues to affect border and central states in Venezuela, with prolonged rains that have caused severe flooding in more than 10 states. Aragua state has been one of the most affected, with thousands of families who have lost their houses and NFIs (including mattresses, sheets, beds, clothes, among others). The risk of floods remains high and their potential impact are growing during the rainy season.
  • The lack of access to gas bottles in border states, including Bolívar, Apure, Táchira, and Zulia is a priority to be addressed. Prioritised communities have reported extensive use of firewood as the primary source of energy for cooking, which has an impact on both respiratory health and environment. Firewood is known to produce various airborne toxins and may result in poorer respiratory health.

Response

  • Through 2020, a total of 416,419 individuals (57% female and 43% male) benefited from a better access to safe shelter, energy and/or basic NFIs in ten states and Distrito Capital, including Táchira (243,163), Zulia (83,592), Apure (21,376), Distrito Capital (18,344), Miranda (14,206), and Bolívar (13,750).
  • Activities targeting temporary shelter arrangements have reached over 57 PASI throughout the country (with most of them in border states) and 11 other forms of temporary shelters, including churches, and have reached 83,991 individuals who were supported with temporary shelter and NFI distributions. Capacity building activities to strengthen both coordination and management capacities were organised jointly and have reached 586 staff members working at the PASI.
  • Activities targeting health facilities, state led institutions and community centres have reached 288,430 individuals, including over 21 health establishments; some of them with RHUs and Rubb-halls for isolation and triage.
  • Other activities targeted prioritised communities, reaching 43,998 vulnerable individuals in Amazonas, Apure, Barinas, Bolívar, Distrito Capital, Miranda, Táchira, and Zulia states, including the distribution of a total of 5,474 solar lamps, benefiting 17,651 individuals, NFI distributions and habitat kits.

Gaps / challenges

  • During October 2020, as reported in previous months, the limited funding has had a negative impact on the response capacity by partner organisations, jeopardising the timeliness and effectiveness of the response.
  • Providing an alternative as a source of energy for cooking, different than the use of firewood and domestic gas bottles, in prioritised communities is a challenge for partner organisations with limited access to fuel and the countrywide movement restrictions established by the national authorities to stop the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The lack of access to basic services (including electricity and water) in some PASI and delays in the transfer of spontaneous returnees have caused demonstrations.