Venezuela

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UNHCR, 2021

 Highlights

  • By the end of July 2021, the Shelter, Energy and NFI Cluster reached 310,903 beneficiaries through partner organisations. Activities covered 14 states and Capital District.  248 street solar lamps, 32 electric systems and 87 Refugee Housing Units have been installed to support institutions and communities, and 5,786 solar lamps, 960 habitat kits, 1193 family kits and 123 individual kits have been delivered to support the most vulnerable population.
  • In early July, clashes between armed groups and police and military forces were reported in Cota 905 sector, affecting neighboring communities and 9 parishes of Distrito Capital. Situations of violence generated the displacement of people, NGOs identified specific needs related with basic NFI (mattresses, pillows, blankets, clothing) and the support of temporary shelter specially for displaced youth from the area.
  • During the reporting period, floods and overflowing continued to affect prioritized states such as Apure, Bolívar, Zulia and including Distrito Capital. Partial and total damage to homes, community spaces, principal roads, and the loss of basic NFI have been reported as the main consequences of heavy rains.
  • In Táchira state (border with Colombia), compared to previous months, an increase in the flows of people leaving Venezuela (caminantes) and a decrease in returns were reported. Assistance to people on the move with basic NFI and other services at “attention points”, located on the main routes, continues to be a priority.
  • At the end of July, Government confirmed the first two cases of the Delta variant of COVID-19, and it is expected an increase in positive cases during next months. During the month the restrictions were maintained every other week (7+7 scheme), however, authorities have announced possible flexibilization despite the identification of Delta variant.
  • During a meeting between the Shelter, Energy and NFI Cluster and Ministry of Health (MPPS by its Spanish acronym), specific needs were identified to support the massive vaccination plan against COVID-19. Possible support to MPPS would include installation of RHU as vaccination points and improvements in temporary shelter arrangements for patients associated with the increase in COVID-19 cases due the new Delta variant.

NFI

Shelter

Need analysis

  • Despite contingency plans implemented in July to assist people affected by floods in border communities of Apure (Páez municipality) and Zulia (Machiques de Perijá municipality), a state of alert continues given that National Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology (INAMEH by its Spanish acronym) forecasts that tropical waves may extend until November.  Early preparedness for these recurrent phenomena continues to be a priority in different regions of the country such as Bolivar and Delta Amacuro, in order to coordinate the effective delivery of basic NFI (including raincoats, rain boots, flashlights, among others) and the provision of temporary shelter arrangements for people affected or at risk of mobility due to the rains.  
  • Outbreaks of mosquito-borne diseases such as malaria have been reported in communities in the states of La Guaira and Bolívar, associated with the constant rains and flooding of rivers. The distribution of basic NFI (such as mosquito nets and repellents) to vulnerable communities and health centers to prevent these diseases has been identified as a need.
  • Needs for rehabilitation and space improvement were identified in several centers that provide essential services to the affected population, including care centers for elderly persons in Barinas and health centers in Zulia and Falcón.

Response

  • By July 2021, 310,903 individuals have been reached by Shelter, Energy and NFI activities (55% female and 45% male) in 14 states and the Capital District.  The states covering the higher number of beneficiaries have been mainly border states and central states: Táchira, Sucre, Miranda, La Guaira, Apure, Bolívar, Mérida and Zulia.
  • The partners response in Venezuela has comprised most of the interventions at the community level.  Focusing on the needs coming from COVID-19 emergency, 45 health centers have been benefited from the partners actions combining access to energy, shelter and critical NFIs availability, including the support for triage and vaccination areas.  34 community centers providing protection and essential services to population and 21 temporary collective centers (including PASIs) have also been benefited by the response.
  • Activities to improve access to energy have addressed the limitations related with the national electric system through renewable sources of energy.  Response has included the installation of 248 street solar lamps in public places and 32 electric systems, including photovoltaic systems in institutions, organizations, community centers and collective shelters.  As a result, 92,725 individuals have been benefited with improved access to energy.
  • Actions to improve shelter conditions in community centers have included the installation of 87 refugee housing units (RHUs).  33 RHUs have been installed to expand and create triage areas and quarantine zones in health centres preventing the spread of COVID-19, 22 in collective temporary shelters, and 32 have benefited community spaces, centers and institutions, communities and other locations.  Overall, 156.880 individuals have been benefited through shelter interventions.
  • Action has been taken to improve access to basic NFIs for the most vulnerable population benefiting 61,298 people both individually and through community centers and institutions.  Basic NFI distribution has been critical in the assistance of vulnerable people affected by armed conflicts in Apure State, people affected by diseases like the leishmaniasis outbreak in Zulia, and people affected by flooding in Apure, Bolívar and Zulia.  It has comprised the delivery of 5,786 solar lamps, 960 habitat kits, 1193 family kits and 123 individual kits, including critical items like mosquito nets, insect repellents, pads, sheets, cooking items, among others.  Basic NFIs have also benefited community centers and institutions through basic mobiliary and kitchen sets, among other items.

 

Gaps / challenges

  • During the reporting month, cases of survival sex were reported specifically to access shelter. Greater multi-sector support is required to create and strengthen temporary shelters for women survivor of GBV in order to provide an adequate response.
  • Despite progress in some regions in terms of access to fuel for humanitarian actors, such as the coordination group with authorities in Táchira state, limitations in access to gasoline continues to a main challenge for operations and assistance delivery. There have been reports of waiting periods for more than 18 consecutive days to access to fuel supply in Barinas state.
  • Given humanitarian access restrictions, there is still a gap in the response in prioritized states such as Amazonas and Delta Amacuro, with identified needs in shelter, energy and NFI.  It is a priority to carry out advocacy actions to facilitate logistic arrangements to deliver humanitarian assistance in these regions.