IsraAID, an Israeli humanitarian aid agency with relief operations around the globe, has dispatched an emergency team to the city of Cúcuta, on Colombia’s border with Venezuela, where thousands of refugees cross the Simon Bolivar Bridge from Venezuela every day seeking reprieve from the continued economic and political crisis in the country.
Some 1.2 million Venezuelan refugees have already crossed into Colombia.
IsraAID is distributing relief supplies to the Venezuelan refugees in the city and is working with the local community and Venezuelan refugee organizations in Colombia.
Access to food, medical supplies and protection resources for Venezuelan refugees and migrants in Colombia are severely limited, raising fears of a growing secondary crisis at the border.
IsraAID’s long-term plan includes child protection and back-to-school activities, community resilience-building and psychological support, hygiene and sanitation promotion and relief distributions.
IsraAID has active teams in South America, supporting communities affected by the El Fuego Volcano eruption in Guatemala, the 2017 earthquakes in Mexico, and Hurricane Maria in Dominica and Puerto Rico. The organization also has recent experience in Colombia responding to the 2017 mudslides in Mocoa.
Yotam Polizer, IsraAID Co-CEO, said that “the Venezuelan refugee crisis has rapidly developed into one of the world’s most serious humanitarian emergencies. With thousands crossing into Colombia every day, local communities and responders on the ground are being stretched to breaking point.”
“IsraAID will work with both refugee and host communities to meet these needs, and we plan to stay for the long-term,” he added.
As of 2018, IsraAID has responded to crises in 47 countries, and currently has programs in 18 countries.
This post was compiled in Israel by TPS 🇮🇱 Subscribe to our Israel Insider Newsletter