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Humanitarian Emergency Fund activated.
Funding to support refugees displaced from Venezuela has been announced by International Development Minister Ben Macpherson.
It has been confirmed that £220,000 will be made available from the Scottish Government Humanitarian Emergency Fund (HEF).
The money will be channelled through two aid agencies, Tearfund and SCIAF, to provide vital food, shelter and health supplies to refugee settlements in Colombia.
Hyperinflation in Venezuela exceeded one million percent at the end of 2018, leaving most of the population unable to afford food or other basic necessities. An estimated 3.7 million are malnourished.
Most have fled to neighbouring countries to survive – one million to Colombia, with this number expected to double by the end of 2019.
Announcing the funding, Mr Macpherson said: “The growing political unrest in Venezuela has caused devastating suffering, with millions becoming malnourished.
“Scotland is a good global citizen and our Humanitarian Emergency Fund provides immediate and effective assistance where it is needed most, to reduce the threat to life and wellbeing caused by disasters, disease or conflict.
“By funding emergency assistance to Venezuelan migrants displaced to Colombia, we can make an immediate difference in areas accessible to agencies, to people in critical need of support.”
Tearfund’s project will provide humanitarian aid to four settlements around the city of Baranquilla, distributing food vouchers to 500 Venezuelan families, as well as drinking water, hygiene kits and emergency medicine. It will also provide cooked meals for 150 children under 10 who are considered most at risk of malnutrition.
SCIAF’s project will target more than 10,600 Venezuelan migrants in remote areas of Colombia not currently receiving humanitarian aid. It will provide shelters and safe houses, food packs and hygiene kits, clothing, and even transport, psychosocial support and legal guidance.
The Humanitarian Emergency Fund provides immediate aid in the aftermath of a crisis.