You are here: Home » PTI Stories » National » News
Business Standard

Europe pledges USD 40 million to help Venezuelans

AP  |  Caracas 

The will spend more than USD 40 million to help Venezuelans suffering through a deepening humanitarian crisis even as the country's leaders have steadfastly denied it needs any foreign assistance.

Most of the money will provide health care, and clean water to vulnerable Venezuelans living inside and outside of the country, officials said on Thursday.

European leaders, meanwhile, have threatened a new round of sanctions against Venezuela's top officials, after what it considers Nicolas Maduro's undemocratic re-election.

said he recently visited Colombia's border with Venezuela, and signs of the crisis he saw were obvious.

"Many people are lacking crucial medicines and are in need of humanitarian assistance," Stylianides said. "We cannot remain bystanders to this human tragedy."

was once one of Latin America's wealthiest countries, sitting atop the world's largest Mismanagement and a drop in global have left it in a deepening economic and political crisis, marked by shortages of and medicine and mass migration.

Maduro won a second, six-year term May 20, which his closest rival has challenged in Venezuela's supreme court as deeply flawed with illegal tactics. Venezuela's leading opposition parties boycotted the election as fraudulent. The United States, and several of Venezuela's neighbours in have rejected Maduro's election as illegitimate.

Humanitarian groups in the past have raised concern that Venezuelan officials would use international assistance as instead of sending it to communities where it is needed.

A for the European Commission, however, told that they're giving the money to crisis groups working in the region, like the and so it doesn't fall into the hands of Venezuelan officials.

Venezuelan leaders haven't publicly commented on the European money being sent, but in the past they refused foreign assistance as a possible Trojan Horse that could open the politically turbulent nation to foreign military intervention.

Rather, prefers to send assistance to other nations, not willing to admit its deep needs at home. It was among the biggest providers of to following the 2010 earthquake. More recently, Venezuelan state TV showed 12 tons of supplies being loaded onto cargo planes headed to for island residents hit by a tropical storm.

Since Maduro's re-election, the has called for a new in Venezuela, saying it will swiftly levy a new round of sanctions targeting those close to Maduro.

The European humanitarian assistance directed at Venezuela's people won't contradict its sanctions or those in place by the against 70 Venezuelan officials, including Maduro, experts say.

Eric Farnsworth, vice at the Council of the and Society think tank, said has already announced spending at least USD 16 million on Venezuela's exiles, while pressing sanctions.

"The key is to help the people without lending support to the regime," Farnsworth said. "It's complicated, although not impossible in my mind, especially if the EU continues on the sanctions effort.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, June 09 2018. 03:05 IST