Statement by USAID Administrator Mark Green on Control of the Outbreak of Measles in Venezuela

Press Release Shim

Speeches Shim

For Immediate Release

Friday, February 7, 2020
Office of Press Relations
Telephone: +1.202.712.4320 | Email:

The outbreak of measles in Venezuela is now under control, according to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). When measles returned to Venezuela unexpectedly, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) contributed nearly $3.4 million to PAHO, including to vaccinate nine million Venezuelan children against the deadly disease, which saved the lives of people affected by the ongoing, regime-driven political and economic crisis in the country.

The regional arm of the World Health Organization, PAHO had declared the Americas measles-free in 2016. However, following the complete collapse of health care in Venezuela under the mismanagement of the illegitimate Maduro regime, measles spread throughout the country starting in 2017, and spilled over into neighboring nations. USAID's investment through PAHO, alongside local partners, helped curb the spread of the disease in Venezuela and across the region. In 2019, Venezuela experienced three deaths from measles, down from 75 in 2018, a decline of 96 percent. The number of confirmed cases of measles also dropped sharply, from nearly 5,800 in 2018 to less than 600 in 2019.

The Trump Administration continues to demonstrate its deep concern for the Venezuelan people, having contributed more than $656 million in humanitarian and development assistance to help Venezuelans across the region, as well as the communities that are hosting them so generously. Included in this funding is nearly $189 million for humanitarian and development programs inside Venezuela. In addition to vaccination efforts in Venezuela through PAHO, USAID's humanitarian funding includes critical assistance for health care, including the provision of primary health care, improved access to basic medical supplies and medicines, and training for health workers.

The Government and people of the United States remain committed to the people of Venezuela, and will continue to support them during this man-made crisis. We ask other nations to do the same.