Venezuela - September 2020

Situation Report

Highlights

  • As of 10 November, Venezuela reported, 95,445 cases of COVID-19, and 834 deaths as well as 90,359 recovered cases. Most affected states: Capital District, Miranda and Zulia.
  • A mixed flow of people on the move has been reported. There are reports of an increase in people traveling from the interior of the country to the western border municipalities.
  • As of 20 October, some 135,590 people had returned to Venezuela, mostly through the state of Tachira.
  • The rainy season continues to cause rivers to overflow that triggers flooding in communities in the states of Aragua, Tachira and Sucre.
  • In 2020, the humanitarian response, including COVID-19 response, has reached over 3.7 million people with some kind of assistance between January and September.
1-Atencion comunitaria-Credit-OCHA-NaomiFrerotte
September 2020. Maracaibo, Zulia, Venezuela. Wayuú families are assisted by community workers at the Centro de Promoción Integral del Niño. OCHA/Naomi Frerotte

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Venezuela - September 2020

Situation Report

Key Figures

3.7M
Reached by assistance as of September
2.4M
Reached with COVID-19 aid as of September
238
HRP projects

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Venezuela - September 2020

Situation Report

Funding

$762,5M
Required funds (2020)
$214,4M
Received funds

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Contacts

Naomi Frerotte

Public Information Officer

Samir Elhawary

Deputy Humanitarian Coordinator/Head of Office

Venezuela - September 2020

Situation Report
Background

Situation Overview

As of 10 November, Venezuelan authorities confirmed 95,445 COVID-19 cases, 834 deaths, as well as 90,359 recovered. According to the authorities, the rate of daily confirmed cases declined last month. Between 19 and 25 October, there was a 55.8 per cent decrease in average reported cases per day (418) compared to September (946 cases per day).

Diagnostic capacity using PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests has increased progressively. In September, it is estimated that about 4,000 PCR tests were performed daily, an increase of 150 per cent in-crease compared to July. Authorities with the support of PAHO/WHO continue to strengthen diagnostic capacity in the short term.   

On 23 October, PAHO/WHO reported the arrival of 340,000 antigen-detection diagnostic tests and 35 reading devices, to perform confirmatory diagnoses in all states and obtain quicker results. The new antigen diagnostic tests are very accurate in symptomatic patients and detect, in only 30 minutes, if some-one is infected. PAHO/WHO estimates that with these tests and equipment, between 3,000 and 4,000 additional tests could be performed daily.

The State of Emergency and quarantine measures were extended for 30 days until 12 November. The National Institute of Civil Aviation extended the restriction on air operations throughout the country until 12 November excluding cargo, humanitarian, repatriation, postal, or UN authorized flights.

The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) has projected a 26 per cent contraction of the Venezuelan economy in 2020, due to the global drop in oil prices caused by the COVID-19 crisis, the drop in oil production, fiscal and external restrictions, the economic effects of social distancing measures and fuel supply challenges. These factors affect the livelihoods, incomes and purchasing power of the most vulnerable households.  In 2020, inflation in the different areas converged towards rates close to 2,000 per cent, including food. However, the minimum wage had a real fall of more than 30 per cent compared to the end of 2019.

Mixed mobility of people between Venezuela and neighboring countries continues. The flow of returnees continues, although to a lesser extent. As of 20 October, a total of 135,590 returnees entered the country, mostly through the state of Tachira. Less returnees through official border crossings has reduced the need for and pressure on the Points of Comprehensive Social Assistance (PASI). There are currently 11 active PASIs in Tachira state, 14 in Bolivar, 9 in Zulia, 4 in Apure, and 2 in Amazonas.

According to recent reports Venezuelans are leaving the country using irregular crossings, encouraged in part by the relaxation of quarantine measures in neighboring countries. Reports show protection needs and risks faced by people leaving Venezuela, both towards the border and through irregular crossings.

Several states in the country continue reporting limitations in access to water, electricity, gas and tele-communications services. Some improvement has been reported in fuel distribution in Caracas, but it remains a challenge in most states, including for humanitarian actors.

The rainy season continues to cause overflowing of rivers and flooding of communities in several states of the country. On 12 October, heavy rains in Aragua state caused the overflowing of the Turmero, Blanco, El Limon, Coropo, Aragua and Madre Vieja rivers, as well as the El Manguito Gorge and a considerable increase in the water level of Lake Valencia, affecting the communities south of Maracay, Aragua state. Health personnel, Civil Protection and other authorities conducted field activities and monitoring in the affected areas. On 16 October, according to preliminary damage assessments, local authorities estimated between 5,800 and 6,000 homes affected, mainly in the municipalities of Girardot, Linares Alcantara and Mariño. Rainfall continues to affect Tachira state. According to local authorities, the heavy rains since 7 November left at least 2 deaths. There were reports of some 50 homes being lost, some 500 homes damaged and over 7,500 people affected in 6 municipalities. The city of Rubio, in the municipality of Junin, was the most affected, where the flooded waters of the Carapo River impacted San Die-go, El Cafetal, La Palmita, Santa Barbara, El Rosal, El Cañaveral, Los Corredores and El Matadero areas.  Local authorities declared the State of Emergency, and the local sport facility was habilitated as a shelter to accommodate the affected people.

The National Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology (INAMEH) and Civil Protection continue to monitor the situation and local authorities, with support from the national Government, initiated the response. The priority activities are the re-establishment of water and electricity services, water drainage, debris removal to clear roadways and the provision of supplies and equipment.

On 27 October, the national Government allowed the registration of international non-governmental organizations (NGOs). The registration certificate is renewable for one year. The resolution does not pro-vide operational and logistical details. It is expected to provide an operational environment where inter-national NGOs can expand their humanitarian operations in Venezuela.

As of 10 November, the humanitarian response coordinated by the UN in Venezuela has received around US$214.4 million to respond to humanitarian needs. A total of $138.4 million of this funding has been mobilized through the Humanitarian Response Plan, representing 18.1 per cent of the funds required for its full implementation. Despite a significant increase in funding in recent months, the Humanitarian Response funding gap remains the main constraint for a response commensurate to meeting the needs.

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Venezuela - September 2020

Situation Report
Visual

5W - Operational Humanitarian Presence

5W - Operational Humanitarian Presence

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Venezuela - September 2020

Situation Report
Analysis
funding update

Funding

According to the Financial Tracking Service (FTS), as of 10 November , the funding received for the humanitarian response is $214.4 million, $138.4 million within the Humanitarian Response Plan with Humanitarian Needs Overview 2020, including funds for the UN, international and national NGOs and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.

Agencies and countries contributing to humanitarian activities include: the European Union, the United States, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Switzerland, United Nations Central Emergency Fund (CERF), Canada, Germany and others.

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Venezuela - September 2020

Situation Report

Cluster Status

Health

102,272
People reached in September

Needs

The intersectoral and multidisciplinary strategies to prevent and respond to communicable diseases include the early identification and high-risk case management, to reduce additional pressure on the health system, focused on the COVID-19 response.

-Dengue: As of 5 September, 5,110 cases were reported (which amounts to an incidence rate of 15.78 cases per 100,000 inhabitants), as well as 209 laboratory-confirmed cases, 20 severe cases, and 9 deaths (a fatality rate of 0.176 per cent). There was a 46.1 per cent decrease in reported cases (9,475) and a 18.9 per cent increase in the fatality rate compared to the same period in 2019 (0.148 per cent) and to the fatality rate in the Andean subregion (0.056 per cent) and in the Americas (0.037 per cent).

-Chikungunya: As of 5 September, there were 52 cumulative probable cases, with two confirmed cases, a decrease of 57.7 per cent compared to the same period in 2019 (123 cases).

-Zika: As of 5 September, there were 21 cumulative probable cases, with zero confirmed cases, a decrease of 62.5 per cent compared to the same period in 2019 (56 cases).

-Measles and Rubella: As of 19 September, there were 515 suspected cases of measles, rubella and congenital rubella syndrome (CRS) with zero confirmed cases. There are 13,092 reporting units for these pathologies that reported 100 per cent of cases with adequate investigation and 96 per cent of blood samples adequate for case study, but only 13 per cent of blood samples arrive at the laboratory in less than five days. In the last 52 epidemiological weeks (EW 39 2019 to EW 38 2020) a rate of 0.8 suspected measles and rubella cases per 100,000 inhabitants and a rate of 0.3 suspected CRS cases per 100,000 live births was reported.

-Diphtheria: As of 22 August, 54 suspected cases were reported, with 5 confirmed cases (3 by laboratory and 2 by clinical criteria or epidemiological link) including 2 deaths. The confirmed cases corresponded to patients between 2 and 14 years old in Anzoátegui (municipality of José Gregorio Monagas), Miranda (municipality of Brion) and Yaracuy (municipality of Bruzual) states. Since the beginning of the 2018 outbreak, there was a sustained increase in cases, which dropped in 2019 and is expected to continue decreasing in 2020. PAHO/WHO recommends strengthening surveillance systems and laboratory diagnostic capacity; maintaining a supply of diphtheria antitoxin for timely use and reduction of the fatality rate; vaccination to prevent cases and outbreaks; and adequate clinical management that decreases complications and deaths.

-COVID-19: From 13 March to 10 November, 95,445 PCR-confirmed COVID-19 cases have been reported, which represents an incidence rate of 329 cases per 100,000 inhabitants. To date, 834 deaths have been reported, representing a mortality rate of 28.7 deaths per million inhabitants and a lethality rate of 0.87 per cent, one of the lowest in the region. As of 8 November, 88.4 per cent of confirmed cases are a result of community transmission (83,943 cases) and 11.5 per cent are imported (10,940 cases). A comparison of the total number of reported cases in September (75,122 cases) with cases reported as of 10 November (95,445 cases) shows an increase of 27 per cent. As of 22 August 22, 184 confirmed COVID-19 cases have been reported in the Pemón, Kurripaco, Yeral, Yanomami, and Warao indigenous communities, representing a 3 per cent increase over the number reported as of 2 August (179 cases).

Needed activities include increasing PCR diagnostic tests among the population (including health workers and at-risk groups such as migrants and indigenous people) as well as continuing the reorganization of health services to manage the impact of increased cases and deaths, considering the high likelihood of underreporting of cases and delays in surveillance and contact tracing. The provision of personal protective equipment (PPE) for workers in health facilities, PASIs, home visit workers, etc. should be ensured. 

Response

In September, Health Cluster partners trained 466 health workers across 24 states. In Bolivar, Carabobo and Zulia, the training focused on COVID-19 response. In addition, in Carabobo, the capacity for clinical management of sexual violence was strengthened.

Health Cluster partners provided equipment, supplies and medicines, including for sexual and reproductive health, benefiting 49,665 people in over 28 outpatient clinics, 11 community clinics, 8 maternity hospitals and 42 hospitals across 24 states. In the context of COVID-19, 979 diagnostic tests were delivered to the Instituto Nacional de Higiene Rafael Rangel, Ministry of Popular Power for Health and the Regional Laboratory of Yaracuy. In addition, 606 people benefited from the provision of personal protection equipment in more than five health facilities and 2 PASIs in three states.

Health Partners have improved access to health services for 39,664 vulnerable people (children, adolescents, pregnant women, indigenous people, people with disabilities) in 171 health facilities (including 3 PASIs) and 17 communities in 14 states. In addition, 8,995 people benefited from access to health services in 11 health facilities (including 3 PASIs) and four communities in five states, as part of the COVID-19 response.

Community capacities on disease prevention and health promotion (Sexual and Reproductive Health, Non-Communicable Diseases, Emergency and Trauma, Maternal Health, and psychosocial) were strengthened through awareness and information on COVID-19 prevention, sexual and reproductive health, delivery of contraceptive methods, warning signs and COVID-19, reaching a total of 6,854 people in 41 health facilities (including 3 PASIs) and 15 communities in 5 states.

At the Center for Comprehensive Assistance to Children, Adolescents and Women (CAINNAM), 2,878 people benefited from strengthening of information and epidemiological surveillance systems, including community health actors in 7 states. In Tachira, 636 people benefited from delivery and distribution of information on COVID-19 prevention and control, at the Center for Integral Attention to Children, Adolescents and Women (CAINNAM).

The Health Cluster held regular virtual meetings on 24 September, with emphasis on telemedicine and child pornography and the Zulia sub-national Health Cluster meeting on 29 September.

Gaps

For the COVID-19 response, the following actions are needed: accelerate efforts to increase health services and maintain a supply of health services for priority pathologies, avoid overcrowding and provide personal protective equipment for health workers.

Monitoring health workers, indigenous populations and people on the move is needed. In the context of COVID-19, these vulnerable populations face particular risks and may be predisposed other outbreaks. For the Mako ethnic group, located south of Piaroa, the nearest hospital with an Intensive Care Unit is more than 500 km away. The distance between the patient and the health facility is correlated to the risk of death in COVID-19 cases.

Fuel shortages are a challenge to humanitarian operations and to access to health services, including vaccination.

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Venezuela - September 2020

Situation Report

Cluster Status

Nutrition

3,833
Children reached in September

Needs

According to partner reports, 5,259 children under age 5 were screened for acute malnutrition, of which 5.3 per cent were identified as acutely malnourished, 3.9 per cent as moderately malnourished and 1.4 per cent as severely malnourished.

In September, partners reported 18 deaths of children in eight communities in Miranda state from causes associated with malnutrition. Nutrition services continue to be provided with outpatient health services and in hospitals in the affected communities.

According to UNICEF, out of the 1,970 pregnant and lactating women screened in 10 states, 22.2 per cent were underweight and 51 per cent had some degree of anemia.

Response

Health partners have adapted nutritional services, using mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC) measuring tapes, a method for the detection of malnutrition with less physical contact. To strengthen implementation capacity, the Cluster provided local and international NGOs partners with MUAC measuring tapes.

The provision of personal protection equipment to health centers has improved access to nutrition programmes at the community level for children under age 5. In September, 5,259 children under age 5 were screened for acute malnutrition.

To prevent malnutrition, 3,833 children under age 5 received micronutrients across 11 states. In addition, 1,970 pregnant and lactating women were reached with services to prevent micronutrient deficiency.

A total of 203 children under age 5 received nutritional services for the treatment of acute malnutrition in 11 states; and 74 children under age 5 received nutritional services for the treatment of severe acute malnutrition mainly in Delta Amacuro, where 34 children were treated. In addition, 2,930 children under age 5 and 8,744 children aged 5 and over were treated for intestinal parasitosis at assistance centers.

A total of 2,000 lactating women received counseling on infant and young child feeding practices.

Gaps

Despite the adequacy of health and nutrition services in the context of COVID-19, not all health personnel have brachial perimeter screening for acute malnutrition, which reduces exposure and contact with patients. In some health centers the personnel do not have optimal personal protective equipment.

Cases of malnutrition have been reported in hard-to-reach areas such as Barinas, Bolívar, Carabobo, Delta Amacuro, Falcon, Lara, Miranda, and Táchira states. Additionally, the lack of fuel continues to be a major limitation for the mobilization of humanitarian assistance throughout the country. This scenario has made it difficult for partners to provide nutritional services, limiting home follow-up activities.

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Venezuela - September 2020

Situation Report

Cluster Status

Protection

157,351
People reached by services in September

Needs

On the border with Colombia, a decrease in the number of returnees due to the COVID-19 pandemic has been reported, associated with the economic reactivation in the country. The opening of economic activities has also created an incentive for people, including women, children and adolescents and unaccompanied adolescents, to leave, especially through informal crossings, since the borders remain formally closed. The conditions of these movements take place expose women, children and adolescents to protection risks, including physical, psychological, and sexual violence.

Access to health services remains a major problem for the elderly, children and adolescents with disabilities or diseases, and pregnant women and adolescents, with reports showing an increase in deaths and cases with irreversible consequences. In addition, access to mental health services is a challenge for adolescents, who are increasingly vulnerable due to quarantine.

Despite the reduction of PASIs, the most vulnerable continue to need protection services.

Response

In September, Cluster partners reached 157,351 women, men, children and adolescents with activities in all 23 states and the Capital District. The states with the most beneficiaries were Bolivar (42,145), Miranda (25,201), Capital District (12,351), Zulia (11,691) and Amazonas (10,494).

A total of 205 children and adolescents, at-risk adults and elderly people were reached with specialized services, including individual psychosocial care. In addition, 11 at-risk adults, children and adolescents benefited from access to legal documentation. A total of 1,083 people with specific needs for material assistance were reached and 17,036 people from communities and institutions had their capacities to prevent and mitigate protection risks strengthened. Moreover, 8,243 people benefited from the strengthening of community centers and spaces. A total of 4,619 people benefited from the strengthening of state institutions in Apure (Ombudsman's Office and CONARE), Falcon (Ombudsman's Office), Tachira (CONARE) and Bolivar (Ombudsman's Office) through the provision of material assistance to ensure the rights of people with specific needs in those states.

A total of 1,133 girls, adolescents and adult women accessed GBV response services, including case management services (359), legal support (68) and individual psychosocial assistance (253). A total of 10,825 children and adolescents benefited from GBV prevention activities reaching 1,408 girls and adult women benefited from the delivery of dignity kits, training on GBV prevention and mitigation (7,361) and the establishment of safe spaces in communities across the Capital District, Miranda, Zulia, Tachira and Apure, including 17 PASIs in Miranda and the Capital District. In addition, 646 civil servants from state institutions and civil society received training on GBV prevention and mitigation to strengthen their capacity to respond to GBV.

A total of 12,028 children and adolescents at risk (the majority between 5 and 17 years old) and their caregivers benefited from access to individual and group psychosocial support activities. In addition, 48,520 children, mostly under 3 months old, had access to birth certificates in hospitals (of these, 94 were civil birth registrations) and 10,316 affected and at-risk children and adolescents were able to access administrative services and child protection programmes. A total of 35,835 people from communities were trained on child protection issues (including the Guía Protege) and 7,304 people from state institutions with responsibility for child protection and members of NGOs were given material assistance and training in preventing and responding to violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation of children.

Gaps

Despite the significant protection needs identified in Tachira state, which receives the largest number of returnees, the response of the Protection Cluster partners in September was maintained at the level of August, reaching 8,100 people.

There are bottlenecks associated with mobility restrictions due to quarantine measures, especially during the weeks of radical quarantine. Regular constraints in the provision of public services with prolonged power outages and fuel shortages are a challenge for response activities such as provision of documentation, birth registration or GBV response.

Indigenous communities, particularly children and adolescents in isolated and hard-to-reach areas, remain among the most vulnerable groups for humanitarian response.

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Venezuela - September 2020

Situation Report

Cluster Status

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene

413,660
People reached in August

Needs

The increase in the number of COVID-19 positive cases has exacerbated the pressure on water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services, including in PASIs, health facilities and communities, where adequate prevention measures require greater support for WASH services.

Response

In September, 20 members of the Cluster reported 263,850 people served in 40 municipalities in 12 states. During 2020, the sectoral response includes the contributions from 40 organizations that have assisted 2,852,550 people in 131 municipalities in 22 states.

In September, 32 health centers received support in WASH mainly for support of water quality (10), hygiene promotion (7), rehabilitation/water supply (5), waste supplies (5) and installation of handwashing stations (5). Since the beginning of the year, WASH interventions or supplies have been reported to benefit over 170 health facilities.

In September, WASH assistance reached about 100 protection or educational centers, mainly in the provision of hygiene inputs (42) and activities to ensure safe water (24) and sanitation (22).

In August, 109,915 people in 57 parishes benefited from ASH interventions, most of them in Tachira (44,450), Miranda (28,450), Bolívar (22,147), Lara (7,215), and the Capital District (6,600). This brings the total number of people in communities supported between January and September to 2,103,050 in 225 parishes, mainly in Tachira (1,264,050), Miranda (303,800), Bolívar (227,450), and Delta Amacuro (150,590).

Gaps

Health facilities reports shortages in cleaning and disinfection products, as well as infectious waste disposal mechanisms. Planned activities need to be complemented to ensure complete WASH and Infection Prevention and Control packages are delivered in health facilities.

WASH needs in the PASIs have grown with the increase of returnees. However, response capacity continues to be affected by gaps in the availability of financial resources.

COVID-19 prevention and quarantine measures limit the possibilities and time frames for training as well as the implementation and distribution of inputs by organizations providing assistance. Fuel shortages affect the entire production and service supply chain and there are some NGOs with resources to provide support that still require permits of safe passage to assist in the response.

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Venezuela - September 2020

Situation Report

Cluster Status

Food Security

39,763
People reached in September

Needs

Returnees require nutritional assistance and support. Besides, supportingreturnees in PASIs with direct food assistance, support initiatives that contribute to improving the food security situation of returnees in host communities are needed.

A REACH assessment reported on the prices and availability of basic food and non-food items to inform humanitarian responses based on cash transfer assistance. Monitoring of 52 vendors in 7 states indicated that, out of 40 food and non-food vendors, 48 per cent reported difficulties in re-stocking. The main challenges were related to high fuel prices (90 per cent), fuel shortages (79 per cent) and high transportation costs (74 per cent). In addition, 12 per cent of respondents reported that their municipality's market does not have the capacity to provide consumers adequate or sufficient products.

Fuel shortages remain, impacting private agricultural sector, triggering an increase in production costs and the final price of food.

In September, inflation and the low minimum wage created difficulties for the most vulnerable households in covering the basic food basket.

Response

In September, 39,763 people benefited from food security activities, including food distribution and production in 46 municipalities in 14 states.

The main activities reported by the Cluster partners were:

Distribution of complementary food in educational institutions, community centers and health facilities; support for the production and distribution of nutritionally fortified food for people with specific needs; and distribution of food to vulnerable people, with particular attention to women and girls at risk, and families with children under 5 with acute malnutrition.

Provision of seeds, tools, small equipment, animals and technical assistance for food production to meet immediate needs, with special attention to female-headed households (FHHs).

Assistance through cash transfers or vouchers to vulnerable households, with a focus on FHHs.

Technical strengthening and equipment to public institutions and local organizations that implement food and nutrition security activities, feasibility analysis for intervention modalities, and training in various trades that support food production, planting and acquisition of life skills.

Gaps

The response capacity of the Cluster needs to be strengthened and more resources need to be mobilized to respond in line with the scale of needs.

Cash transfer or voucher assistance modalities could become an effective mechanism for responding to emergency food needs once the fiscal conditions and legal framework for this type of assistance are clarified.

Fuel shortages in some states of the country continue to impact agricultural and livestock guilds who express concern about the consequences of not being able to use the necessary machinery and equipment for food production and its subsequent transportation from the states of Apure, Barinas, Lara, Tachira and Zulia.

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Venezuela - September 2020

Situation Report

Cluster Status

Education

15,567
People reached in September

Needs

The process of gradual activation of schools in remote modalities along with weekly pedagogical support requires intersectoral assistance to prepare for a safe return.

Conditions for educational continuity during pre-emptive school closures are adverse, including reduced access to connectivity, limited technological availability, and intermittent electrical services. These circumstances disproportionately affect the most vulnerable children and adolescents, such as those with disabilities, the indigenous people and children and adolescents in hospitals.

Response

The Education Cluster with support from UNICEF, Save The Children and UNESCO organized the two-month course "Right to Education in Times of Crisis: Alternatives for Continuing Education".  A total of 5,412 participants completed all required learning segments including the final work.

Between 27 August and 8 September, the Education Cluster, with support from UNICEF and the UNESCO Office in Quito, organized the training "Rethinking Curriculum Development in Times of Pandemic”. Approaches, planning, contextualization and evaluation" for directors and Ministry of Education personnel, and private sector actors. A total of 56 participants completed the course. In addition, Education Cluster provided technical assistance to the Research and Teacher Training Department of the Ministry of Education to systematize local experiences in remote learning to make visible the educational responses of community actors to COVID-19.

In September, with the aim of improving the conditions for learning and educational continuity of children and adolescents in schools, the distribution of educational materials in individual format continued at the household level, reaching 15,567 children and adolescents (44 per cent girls and 56 per cent boys), especially in Miranda and Zulia states. In addition, 73,045 children and adolescents (61 per cent girls and 39 per cent boys) benefited from dry food distribution, or at the household level, with support from school feeding programmes, most of them in Bolivar and Zulia.

A total of 4,854 adolescents and young people (36 per cent girls and 64 per cent boys) participated in initiatives aimed at promoting educational attainment, life skills and technical training through remote methods, largely in Miranda and Zulia. A total of 30,528 children and adolescents were reached through the implementation of psycho-educational support activities online, by telephone or through home visits (47 per cent girls and 53 per cent boys) in Bolivar and Zulia.

One of the new activities incorporated in the response to COVID-19 was distance education using multi-platform resources (television, radio, virtual, print) for children and adolescents affected by school closures. During this period, 11,630 students were reached, mostly in Bolivar and Zulia.

September saw the highest number of key message promotions for the school community using social networks and the National Network Radios Fe y Alegría, which was strengthened in the framework of the project financed by 'Education Cannot Wait' reaching 5,077,740 people, especially in Anzoátegui and Táchira.

A total of 4,188 out-of-school children and adolescents (41 per cent girls and 59 per cent boys) were reached by educational reintegration initiatives in non-formal education and learning spaces. In Miranda and Zulia scholarships and other incentives for teachers and staff were provided to 2,621 people (18 per cent women and 82 per cent men) especially in Tachira and Zulia.

Gaps

The limited international funding to the sector aggravates the situation and puts the sustainability of actions at risk, which is especially critical for local and community-based organizations that do not have support through international cooperation. For instance, in relation to initiatives to reintegrate children and adolescents into education outside of school, the gap stands at 94 per cent. In relation to activities with adolescents and young people on life skills and technical training the gap stands at 82 per cent. In the distribution of school kits, the gap is 83 per cent, and in school feeding 63 per cent have yet to be reached.

Despite the continued efforts of national authorities and support from Cluster partners in making distance learning available through multiple platforms, access remains uneven across different states, which is exacerbated by the lack of international funding for sustainable sources of internet access, improved electricity service and technological investment in remote communities.

Financial support is urgently needed to prepare schools for a safe return with multi-sectoral interventions, including WASH, Protection and Health.

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Venezuela - September 2020

Situation Report

Cluster Status

Shelter, Energy and Non-Food Items (NFIs)

272,816
Reached by assistance in September

Needs

In September, there were reports that some PASIs in the border municipalities of the states of Zulia, Apure, Táchira and Bolivar, faced limitations in access to basic services (such as access to electricity, domestic gas and water, among others) and a lack of basic necessities for the returned Venezuelan population housed in these spaces, including hygiene items.

It is still necessary to increase the capacity of accommodation and attention to returnees, in line with international standards, while providing assistance to people on the move, including delivery of basic items. It is also necessary to monitor the needs of people traveling from the interior of the country towards western border municipalities.

Response

During September, 75,859 people (59 per cent women and 41 per cent men) benefited from improved access to safe housing, energy and/or basic necessities in 10 states of the country, with the highest number of people reached in Tachira (71,416), Bolívar (1,637) and Zulia (1,108). Most of the response was focused on interventions to address COVID-19, while others were interventions focused on people with specific needs in priority communities, with special attention given to gender, age and diversity considerations.

A total of five prefabricated accommodation units (RHUs) were installed in five PASIs in the states of Táchira (4) and Miranda (1) and 1 Rub Hall in the PASI of the Passenger Terminal of San Antonio del Táchira, which allowed the extension of the accommodation capacity of these spaces, including returned Venezuelans. These PASIs can accommodate 7,936 people. Basic equipment was delivered to the coordination authorities of Tachira and Falcon for delivery to the PASIs of those states, as well as to the Caracas Isolation Center (La Guaira), with a coverage of 8,178 people. In the Simon Bolivar Social Foundation in the municipality of Caroni, Bolivar state, trainings were organized to 8 civil servants to strengthen the management of temporary housing.

The activities in community and institutional spaces and centers, including health centers, were carried out in the states of Bolívar and Táchira, reaching 57,077 people. A total of 34 RHUs were installed in support of hospitals and Integral Diagnostic Centers (IDCs), including 11 RHUs in the Central Hospital of San Cristobal (Tachira), 8 RHUs in the Simon Bolivar International Bridge (also 1 Rub Hall), and in support of IDCs in the municipalities of Pedro María Ureña (2 RHUs), Junín (3 RHUs) and San Antonio (4 RHUs), Civil Protection of San Cristobal (4 RHUs) and the fire departments of Rubio and Bolívar (2 RHUs), for data collection, sampling and preventive quarantine, strengthening their capacity. In addition, the community centers in Los Pijiguaos and Morichalito (Bolívar state), Colinas de Maisanta and Mesa de Chaucha (Táchira state) were provided with supplies.

The activities carried out in priority communities reached 2,660 vulnerable people in the states of Amazonas, Apure, Bolivar, Capital District, Miranda, Tachira, Zulia and Barinas. These activities included the delivery of 249 solar lamps in Apure and Bolívar, the distribution of basic goods, shelter kits (including blankets, mats, a kitchen set, mosquito nets and a tuff) and kits to people on the move (including a menstrual cup, poncho, blanket, mat, blue soap, mosquito nets, solar lamp, and a jerrycan), benefiting 2,411 people.

Gaps

Although higher than in previous months, the response in September was lower in the country's border states, including Apure, Bolivar and Zulia.

Limited fuel supply in most states, along with lack of funding continue to be reported as the main operational challenges for outreach and access to remote locations.

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Venezuela - September 2020

Situation Report

Cluster Status

Logistics

Needs

Due to quarantine measures implemented to combat COVID-19, humanitarian actors continue to face access challenges which affect project implementation. At the same time, the 7+7 scheme, which provides for the reactivation of economic sectors after seven days of radical quarantine, facilitates movement during the weeks of flexibilization. However, organizations need support in obtaining permits to facilitate deliveries and activities in the field.

Response

The Cluster continues its coordination and support activities in information management, providing updates and reports in terms of logistics capacity and access restrictions. This includes the development of guidelines and mechanisms within the framework of the COVID-19 Global Humanitarian Response Plan (GHRP).  

The Cluster supported the compilation and dissemination of information for the repatriation flights organized by the embassies and the humanitarian flights organized by the World Food Program to Venezuela, from the operational hub in Panama. 

The Cluster, through the media channels, such as group communications and mailing lists, facilitates the exchange of practical logistics information between partners.

Gaps

Disruptions in the global supply chain, including restrictions on air and sea traffic as well as border closures, continue to impact the ability to procure inputs on a global scale. Common efforts have been made to activate shared transport services and an inter-agency system of prioritization for the purchase of critical inputs within the COVID-19 GHRP.  

The possibilities for transporting humanitarian supplies were limited during the last reporting period. Humanitarian organizations are facing a shortage of supply to transport and import the inputs needed for their programmes. 

The closure of airspaces and borders has made it more difficult for NGO humanitarian workers to enter and leave the country, affecting the development of their programmes and the effectiveness of their response to the epidemic.  

Flights organized and managed as part of the World Food Programme's logistical support to the global response have had some challenges, especially with authorizations to facilitate the movement of humanitarian personnel. Due to the complexity of migration procedures, access to these flights has been restricted for NGO humanitarian personnel.

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Venezuela - September 2020

Situation Report
Coordination

Coordination

The Field Coordination Hubs liaise with local authorities and partners to support needs assessments, response implementation, and advocacy on logistics and access issues.

The Humanitarian Country Team, under the leadership of the Humanitarian Coordinator, agreed on the methodology and timeline for the Humanitarian Programme Cycle 2021. As a follow-up, consultations were held with national and international NGOs, as well as donors. The Inter-Cluster Group in consultation with cluster partners is working on an updated analysis focusing on the impact of COVID-19, and a light review of Plan 2020 projects.

To strengthen partners' capacities, OCHA, with the support of the Norwegian Refugee Council, organized six workshops on the practical application of humanitarian principles to highlight the importance of principled action to address daily challenges. Some 115 participants representing 86 humanitarian organizations took part in the workshops.

To strengthen the Accountability to Affected Populations in the framework of the Humanitarian Response Plan, OCHA and UNICEF, with the collaboration of several organizations, completed the first Inter-Agency Course for the Integral Approach of Accountability to Affected Populations (AAP) in Venezuela, in which representatives of some 60 humanitarian organizations participated.

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Venezuela - September 2020

Situation Report
Analysis

Common operational challenges

Humanitarian response urgently requires more funding to sustain and expand implemented activities; many partners highlight critical funding gaps, including the response to COVID-19.

Humanitarian organizations should adapt their response modalities in the context of the pandemic to minimize the risk of infection, especially for frontline of workers.

Movement limitations throughout the country, delays in importing some supplies, the availability of transport as well as fuel shortages have increased logistics challenges.

The magnitude of the needs requires a humanitarian response with greater operational capacity, including openness to the work of national and international NGOs with experience in health emergencies and in line with humanitarian principles.

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