The United States Airlifts Additional Humanitarian assistance to Cúcuta, Colombia, to Help Venezuelans in Need

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Fact Sheet

For Immediate Release

Friday, February 22, 2019
Office of Press Relations
Telephone: +1.202.712.4320 | Email:
  • This week, the United States airlifted additional humanitarian assistance to Colombia to provide relief to tens of thousands of Venezuelans who are suffering from severe shortages of food and medicine caused by the mismanagement of the illegitimate Maduro regime.
  • U.S. military C-130 and C-17 cargo planes are transporting the relief supplies from Homestead Air Reserve Base in Florida to Cúcuta, Colombia, as part of the Trump Administration's whole-of-Government response to the Venezuela regional crisis.
  • The flights contained enough food to feed an estimated 2,000 people for one month, along with medical supplies-including wheelchairs, crutches, bandages, and examination gloves- to support the provision of basic health care for Venezuelans.
  • These relief supplies are the latest the United States has airlifted to pre-position in Colombia as part of a surge of U.S. humanitarian assistance that began earlier this month at the request of Interim Venezuelan President Juan Guaidó.
  • From February 4 to February 22, 2019, the United States pre-positioned approximately 191 metric tons of critical relief supplies-procured both locally and internationally-to help the people of Venezuela. This aid is part of the $20 million of initial humanitarian assistance to the people inside of Venezuela as announced by Secretary Pompeo on January 24.
  • This aid includes the following:
    • Emergency medical kits that contain life-saving medical supplies and pharmaceuticals to help 40,000 people for 90 days;
    • Medical supplies, including wheelchairs, crutches, bandages, and other items to help meet basic health needs;
    • Hygiene kits, which contain soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, and other personal hygiene supplies to help nearly 35,000 people stay healthy and prevent disease;
    • Locally purchased food kits that contain items such as vegetable oil, flour, lentils, and rice to feed 5,000 Venezuelans for 10 days;
    • Highly nutritious, high-energy, nutritional products-known as ready-to-use supplementary foods (RUSF)-that will treat an estimated 10,000 malnourished children for approximately two months, to give them the vital nutrients they need to grow and thrive; and
    • High-energy biscuits packed with vitamins and minerals that can serve as a temporary meal replacement for an estimated 10,000 school children for a month.
  • The United States used several methods of transportation to move humanitarian aid to the Colombia-Venezuela border, including U.S. military flights, commercial aircraft, and trucks for overland transport. In addition, we have procured relief items locally in Colombia, as these are familiar to the people who need them.
  • USAID is also pre-positioning additional relief supplies at warehouses maintained by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in Miami and Houston, for immediate deployment to the region, if needed.
  • However, to be effective, the Maduro regime must allow this critical aid to enter Venezuela. The U.S. Government is coordinating with the Guaidó Government, other governments in the region, and our regional humanitarian partners on the logistics of providing relief to Venezuelans safely and efficiently.
  • The United States remains committed to helping the people of Venezuela deal with the crisis caused by the Maduro regime, and this assistance is not the first-and will not be the last-that the American people are sending to help those in need. Since Fiscal Year 2017, the United States has provided more than $140 million-including nearly $97 million in humanitarian assistance and approximately $43 million in development and economic assistance- to support the generous efforts of countries in the region that are hosting the nearly 3.4 million people who have fled the chaos in Venezuela.