USAID Administrator Mark Green's Remarks at the Announcement of Additional Humanitarian Assistance to the Venezuelan Regional Crisis

Press Release Shim

Speeches Shim

For Immediate Release

Thursday, September 5, 2019

September 4, 2019
Migration Attention Center
Cucuta, Colombia

ADMINISTRATOR GREEN: Thanks, John. Good afternoon, everyone. To echo what you've just heard from Deputy Secretary Sullivan, I'd first like to first recognize the generosity of the Colombian people and the Government of Colombia for their continued support and their hospitality toward Venezuelans who have fled the tyranny of that country.

I've traveled in Colombia more than any other country since I became Administrator, and every time I come here, I am impressed with the generosity and the character of the Colombian people. This is also my third time in Cucuta, and each time I come to Cucuta, I am struck by the evil that is taking place in Venezuela.

As Deputy Secretary Sullivan just mentioned, the United States is announcing an additional $120 million in humanitarian assistance that will provide urgently needed food and healthcare to vulnerable Venezuelans in Colombia, Ecuador, Brazil, and throughout the region. It will also support the local communities who are graciously hosting their neighbors in need.

Specifically, the assistance from USAID will provide life-saving health assistance; food, water, sanitation and hygiene services; direct assistance to vulnerable families to purchase food and basic necessities from local markets; and to support and help protect vulnerable Venezuelans from violence and exploitation.

Our funding supports several humanitarian groups throughout the region, including the World Food Program, which is helping to feed Venezuelans who have fled hunger and poverty. Just a few other quick personal observations.

First off, we have to remind ourselves over and over again when we talk about humanitarian assistance, unlike some of the other crises that we respond to, this one is man-made and it is regime-driven. We know that humanitarian assistance is treatment, not cure. The cure comes from restoring liberty, dignity, and democracy in Venezuela. That is the only way this crisis will end.

Secondly, I just want to echo what my friend John Sullivan said: We stand in great awe of the Venezuelans who are here today, particularly the women leaders, in advocating for their people. One of the reasons it is so important that women are involved in peace and reconciliation is they are often the first ones to see the effects of these crises upon children, and so they are often the first ones to indicate to us - to show to us, sadly - what lies ahead unless the change that we are calling for occurs. We admire them and we stand with them, and the Trump Administration wants to make it very clear: we stand with the people of Venezuela and we will not back down.

Thank you.