Venezuela - October 2020

Situation Report

Highlights

  • As of December 26, Venezuela reported 111,951 cases of COVID-19, 106,105 recovered cases and 1,013 deaths. The most affected states: Capital District, Miranda and Zulia.
  • A total of 340,000 antigen-detection tests and 35 reading devices arrived in Venezuela, arranged by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).
  • Mixed mobility of people between Venezuela and neighboring countries has continued. As of December 2, 143,000 people had returned to Venezuela, according to official data.
  • Continued rains have caused rivers to overflow, floods, landslides, colapse of sewage systems, and utility failures through November.
  • In 2020, the humanitarian response, including the response to the COVID-19, has reached more than 4.2 million people with some form of assistance between January and October.
1-Atencion comunitaria-Credit-OCHA-NaomiFrerotte
September 2020. Maracaibo, Zulia, Venezuela. Medical consultation at the Centro de Protección Integral del Niño (CEPIN), local UNICEF partner. OCHA/Naomi Frerotte

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Venezuela - October 2020

Situation Report

Key Figures

4.2M
Reached by assistance as of October
3.1M
Reached with COVID-19 aid as of October
238
HRP projects

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Venezuela - October 2020

Situation Report

Funding

$762,5M
Required funds (2020)
$237,8M
Received funds

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Contacts

Naomi Frerotte

Public Information Officer

Samir Elhawary

Deputy Humanitarian Coordinator/Head of Office

Venezuela - October 2020

Situation Report
Background

Situation Overview

As of December 26, Venezuelan authorities had confirmed 111,951 cases of COVID-19 in the country, 106,105 recovered cases and 1,013 deaths. According to their report, daily confirmed cases have decreased during the last month. Between December 19 and 26, there was an average of 310 reported cases per day, representing a 67.2 per cent reduction compared to the average number of cases reported in September (946 cases per day).

The Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) has strengthened technical cooperation with the National Institute of Hygiene “Rafael Rangel” as part of their efforts to increase the COVID-19 diagnostic capacity. To this end, PAHO/WHO distributed 340,000 antigenic tests in the country's 24 states and a total of 35 reading devices. In addition, PAHO/WHO will support local authorities with the implementation of a mobile laboratory with the necessary biosafety level to perform confirmatory PCR tests in the eastern part of the country.

As part of the response to the pandemic, on November 16 and 22, two airplanes arrived in the country with a total of 47 tons of health supplies managed by UNICEF, including vaccines and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for frontline workers in the fight against COVID-19.

National authorities announced that in December there would be a general relaxation of the quarantine measures in place until November. They also announced that only commercial flights from Bolivia, Mexico and Turkey were still active, as well as domestic flights to tourist destinations such as Porlamar and Los Roques.

During the last month, mixed mobility of people between Venezuela and neighboring countries has continued, although the flow of people returning to the country has decreased. The lower number of people returning through formal border crossings has led to a lower demand and pressure on the temporary shelters (PASI) established by the authorities in border states. The number of PASIs has been decreasing in recent weeks and currently there are 16 in operation in Tachira, 12 in Bolivar, 9 in Zulia and 2 in Apure.

As part of this mixed mobility trend, there have been reports of Venezuelans leaving the country through informal channels, encouraged in part by the relaxation of quarantine measures in neighboring countries. Various reports indicate protection needs and risks faced by people leaving Venezuela, both on the way to the border and through irregular crossings.

Departures by sea have also been reported. In December there were several wrecks of boats from Güiria (state of Sucre) bound for Trinidad and Tobago. To date, a total of 32 people have died, and it is estimated that there could be a dozen people missing.

In several states of the country there are still limitations in the continued access to water, electricity, domestic gas and telecommunications services. Authorities have reported an increase in domestic fuel production, which has led to some improvement in gasoline distribution in Caracas, although it remains a challenge in most of the country's states, including for humanitarian actors.

In November, rains caused by the La Niña phenomenon and the passage of hurricane Iota through the Caribbean Sea affected mainly the western part of the country, and more severely the states of Tachira, Zulia, Falcón and Lara. Continuous rains have caused rivers to overflow, floods, landslides, collapse of sewage systems and failures in public services such as electricity, telecommunications, water and gas. In the state of Zulia, an estimated 5,000 families were affected by the floods in Maracaibo. In the municipality of La Guajira, some 1,250 people were affected by the rains and flooding caused by the overflowing of the Chama river. It is estimated that more than 2,000 people and 6,500 hectares of crops were affected. In the state of Tachira, authorities confirmed that 3,356 people were affected in the municipality of Junín and more than 1,000 in the municipalities of Bolivar and San Cristóbal. In Falcón, rains affected 15 municipalities and a landslide was reported in Santa Ana hill. Also, the overflowing of water streams affected some 3,100 families. In the state of Lara, at least 1,747 hectares of crops were affected, putting a total of 492,025 tons of food at risk.

The National Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology (Instituto Nacional de Meteorología e Hidrología or INAMEH) and Civil Protection continue to monitor the situation. With support from the national level, local authorities have implemented response activities for the affected people, prioritizing the reestablishment of water and electricity services, water drainage, removal of material to clear transportation routes and the provision of certain supplies and non-food items. In the state of Tachira, humanitarian partners are working with local authorities to provide water, hygiene and dignity kits, household goods and habitat kits to affected people.

COVID-19 continues to exacerbate the impact on the livelihoods, incomes and purchasing power of the most vulnerable households, and to increase the food security and nutrition needs of the population. The early warning analysis on acute food insecurity hotspots published by FAO and WFP refers to the 2019 findings, where it was estimated that 7 million people face moderate food insecurity and 2.3 million people severe food insecurity.

As of November 10, the humanitarian response in Venezuela, under the coordination of the United Nations, has received about US$214.4 million to respond to humanitarian needs. US$138.4 million have been mobilized through the Humanitarian Response Plan, representing 18.1 percent of the funds required for its full implementation. Despite a significant increase in funding in recent months, the gap in the coverage of the Humanitarian Response Plan remains the biggest challenge to ensure a response in line with the needs of the affected population.

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Venezuela - October 2020

Situation Report
Visual

5W - Operational Humanitarian Presence

5W - Operational Humanitarian Presence

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Venezuela - October 2020

Situation Report
Analysis
funding update

Funding

According to Financial Tracking Service (FTS) data, as of December 26, $237.8 million had been received for humanitarian response, $151.5 million under the Humanitarian Response Plan with Humanitarian Needs Overview 2020, including funds for the United Nations, international and national NGOs, and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.

The agencies and countries contributing to humanitarian activities are as follows: European Union, United States, United Kingdom, Sweden, Switzerland, United Nations Central Emergency Fund (CERF), Norway, Canada, Germany and others.

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Venezuela - October 2020

Situation Report

Cluster Status

Health

34,657
People reached with health services

Needs

Dengue: As of October 24, 2020, Venezuela reported 5,653 dengue cases (an incidence rate of 17.46 cases per 100,000 inhabitants), 229 laboratory-confirmed cases, 24 severe dengue cases and 14 deaths (a fatality rate of 0.248 per cent), being higher than the fatality rates in the Andean (0.070 per cent) and Americas (0.041 percent) subregions. Although there was a 55.6 per cent decrease in reported dengue cases (12,730 cases), the fatality rate rose by 75.9 per cent compared to the same period in 2019 (0.141 per cent).

Chikungunya: As of October 24, 2020, the cumulative number of probable cases is 58, with two confirmed cases, a decrease of 63.5 per cent compared to the same period in 2019 (159 cases).

Zika: As of October 24, 2020, 25 probable cases were reported, with no confirmed cases, a decrease of 60.9 per cent compared to the same period in 2019 (64 cases).

Measles and rubella: As of October 31, 559 suspected cases of measles, rubella and congenital rubella syndrome (CRS) were reported (no confirmed cases). Currently, there are 13,092 notification units for these pathologies with 100 per cent of cases adequately investigated and 94 per cent of samples suitable for case study, but only 14 per cent of blood samples reach the laboratory in five or fewer days. In the last 52 epidemiological weeks (EW 45 2019 to EW 44 2020), a suspected case rate of 0.8 cases/100,000 inhabitants of measles and rubella and 0.3 suspected cases of CRS per 10,000 live births were reported.

Diphtheria: Since the beginning of the diphtheria outbreak in 2018, there was a sustained increase in cases, but a decline started in 2019 and continued in 2020. As of September 22, 2020, 54 suspected cases were reported, of which 5 were confirmed (3 by laboratory and 2 by clinical criteria or epidemiological link), including two deaths. Individuals with confirmed cases were between 2 and 14 years of age. The date of onset of symptoms of the last confirmed case was January 25, 2020 in the Bruzual municipality, in the state of Yaracuy. Confirmed cases were reported in the states of Anzoategui (José Gregorio Monagas municipality), Miranda (Brión municipality) and Yaracuy (Bruzual municipality). PAHO/WHO recommends strengthening surveillance systems and laboratory diagnostic capacity, maintaining a supply of diphtheria antitoxin for its timely use and reduction of the fatality rate, vaccination to prevent cases and outbreaks, and adequate clinical management to reduce complications and fatality.

COVID-19: From March 13 to November 23, Venezuela has reported 94,658 PCR-confirmed cases of COVID-19, which represents an incidence rate of 326.4 cases per 100,000 inhabitants. To date, 871 deaths have been reported, representing a mortality rate of 30 deaths per million inhabitants and a case fatality rate of 0.92 per cent, which is one of the lowest in the region. As of October 31, 89 per cent of the confirmed cases were community-transmitted (81,906) and 11 per cent were imported (10,107), according to information provided by the National Government. Comparing the total number of cases reported up to September (75,122) with the cases reported up to October 31 (92,013), there was an increase of 22.5 per cent. As of November 5, 2020, Venezuela has reported 861 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in indigenous populations, which corresponds to 0.94 per cent of the total number of reported cases, and 34 deaths, representing a case fatality rate of 3.94 per cent.

The diagnostic capacity for COVID-19 confirmatory tests (PCR and antigen) should continue to expand for the general population, health workers and at-risk groups, such as migrant and indigenous populations. Another key element is to continue reorganizing health services to manage the impact of the increase in cases and deaths associated with the probability of underreported cases and delays in surveillance and contact tracing. The provision of PPE for personnel in health facilities, PASI at border entry points, and those carrying out activities in communities, among others, should also continue in order to mitigate the risk of contagion.

Response

In October, Health Cluster partners trained 1,018 healthcare workers (HCWs) in 7 states. In the states of Zulia, Tachira and Bolivar, training focused on COVID-19 care. In Guarico, Monagas, Trujillo, Barinas and Apure, health workers were trained in HIV diagnosis and the prevention of vertical transmission of HIV and syphilis. Additionally, in the states of Barinas, Apure, Cojedes, Guarico, Monagas, Portuguesa and Trujillo, a total of 35 HCWs from the Comprehensive Community Health Areas (Áreas de Salud Integral Comunitaria or ASIC) of each state were trained in the Clinical Management of Sexual Violence through social networks (WhatsApp).

Equipment, supplies, essential medicines and sexual and reproductive health medicines were provided to more than 50 outpatient clinics, 17 community clinics, 8 maternity hospitals and 38 hospitals in 24 states, benefiting 77,445 people, 22,839 of which benefited from COVID-19-related services. In the context of COVID-19, the delivery of PPE and the respective training in its proper use was carried out in the state of Miranda, benefiting 400 HCWs belonging to 7 Integral Diagnostic Centers and the Luis Razetti Hospital in Miranda.

The work of partners has improved access to health services for 34,657 people in greater vulnerability (children, adolescents, pregnant women, indigenous people, people with disabilities), facilitating consultations on various health promotion and prevention services in basic healthcare specialties in 131 health facilities (including 3 PASI) and 8 communities in 14 states and the Capital District. Of the total number of beneficiaries, 4.4 per cent (1,522 people) benefited in the context of COVID-19 through the provision of sexual and reproductive health care, focusing on HIV and syphilis prevention, contraception, and breast cancer prevention.

Community capacity building in disease prevention and health promotion (SRH, NCDs, CD, MH and Psychosocial) benefited 12,498 people through awareness raising and information on COVID-19 prevention measures in sexual and reproductive health, contraceptive methods, pregnancy, warning signs and COVID-19 in 41 health facilities, 12 PASI and 5 communities in 6 states.

In Bolivar, 4,021 people benefited from the delivery and distribution of COVID-19 information material for prevention and control. Also, 9,819 people benefited from the strengthening of information and epidemiological surveillance systems, including community health actors, in 7 states and the Capital District in the context of COVID-19 and humanitarian response.

A total of 340,000 antigen detection tests and 27 reading devices arrived in Venezuela, managed by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), with the aim of bringing COVID-19 confirmatory diagnosis to all the states of the country and improving the time it takes to obtain the results. During the first days of October, PAHO also delivered 20 invasive mechanical respirators for intensive care patients, 133 oxygen concentrators and 1,585,000 disposable masks.

On October 28 and 29, authorities from the MPPS and PAHO-VEN visited the cities of San Cristóbal and San Antonio in the state of Tachira, located on the border with Colombia, to fine-tune the response to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. PAHO/WHO is accompanying Venezuelan authorities in the dialogue with their Colombian counterparts, aiming to improve the health conditions of migrants and protect them from the transmission of COVID-19. During the working sessions, priority was given to migrants’ healthcare, their health status, their stay at the PASIs, as well as their return to their places of origin, in an effort to interrupt community transmission of COVID-19. They also visited the mobile laboratory for COVID-19 diagnosis and held coordination meetings with other international organizations present in the state, such as UNHCR, OCHA, IOM and UNICEF.

On October 11, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Venezuela held a virtual discussion forum in the framework of the International Day of the Girl entitled “My voice, our future in equality and free of violence”, which addressed the challenges faced by Venezuelan girls to live free of gender-based violence, harmful practices, and HIV and AIDS.

During the month of October, the Health Cluster held regular virtual meetings focusing on updating and formulating the HRP2021. Also, the subnational health clusters of Tachira and Bolivar held meetings led by PAHO, gathering approximately 30 partners from the national and subnational levels.

Note: As of October, the Health Cluster reported that between January and November 2020 it had reached 3.6 million people. This figure is higher than the 1.6 million included in the September report. The increase by 2 million from one month to the next is due to the reporting in October of official MPPS figures for the year that had not been previously accounted for. However, this data was not disaggregated by sex and age, so it was not included in the multi-sectoral aggregate of people reached as it is not possible to guarantee that it did not include data duplication. As the situation was rectified, this figure has been updated.

Gaps

Fuel shortages continue to pose a constant challenge for the development of response activities of humanitarian partners, especially in border states.

It is necessary to continue strengthening the capacity for early detection, timely care and epidemiological surveillance of vector-borne and vaccine preventable diseases, especially in vulnerable groups in the context of COVID-19, as well as the capacity for timely detection of COVID-19 outbreaks, case diagnosis and care.

COVID-19 in migrant populations should be monitored, ensuring the capacity to detect cases in this group and providing the necessary supplies and PPE to health personnel caring for this population.

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Venezuela - October 2020

Situation Report

Cluster Status

Nutrition

2,088
Children reached in October

Needs

According to reports from UNICEF and its partners, in October, 6.9 per cent of the 7,141 children under 5 years of age screened presented acute malnutrition.

According to UNICEF data, of 409 pregnant and lactating women screened, 23.9 per cent were underweight and received treatment to improve their nutritional status and reduce the risk of low birth weight.

Response

Partners' care centers continue adapting to low-contact malnutrition detection methods such as brachial perimeter. In order to strengthen their implementation capacity, the Cluster is providing partners with nutrition kits for low-contact detection of acute malnutrition.

In October, a total of 10,327 children up to 15 years of age were screened for the prevention and detection of micronutrient deficiency. Of these, 10,017 children were under 5 years of age. The provision of personal biosafety equipment for health professionals in partners’ care centers has improved access to nutrition programmes at the community level.

To prevent malnutrition in children, 6,481 children under 5 years of age received micronutrients in 18 states of the country. In addition, the nutrition strategy also reached 1,852 pregnant and lactating women with micronutrient deficiency prevention services.

Partners report that 807 children under 5 years of age received nutritional care services for the treatment of moderate acute malnutrition in their care centers in 18 states of the country. Also, 74 children between 5 and 15 years of age received outpatient treatment for wasting in 8 states.

4,914 children under 5 years of age and 10,410 children over 5 years of age received treatment for intestinal parasitosis at partners’ care centers.

Nearly 2,582 breastfeeding women received counselling on key infant and young child feeding practices.

During October, the activities of the Nutrition Cluster were aimed at consolidating the Humanitarian Program Cycle for 2021, which consisted of a review and update of the Needs Assessment and Humanitarian Response Plan 2020. To this end, we worked in coordination with cluster partners to prepare and consolidate various working documents. Among others, an assessment of achievements in the framework of HRP2020 was carried out in order to identify gaps in the delivery of humanitarian aid and improve accountability to the affected populations. Also, the Nutrition Cluster reviewed the sectoral framework (logical framework and sectoral guide) to facilitate project review, training of partners in the HPC tools platform and the Projects module for uploading projects corresponding to the HRP 2021.

Gaps

It is necessary to improve the analysis of children’s nutritional status based on updated data that will allow a strategic prioritization of nutritional interventions. For this reason, the October 28 meeting emphasized the presentation of the methodology for the HPC 2021 and the key dates for this process. During the meeting, information of partners’ contributions on the Analysis of Humanitarian Needs and Projection of Needs for Nutrition was presented, for which the partners were encouraged to collect and send secondary data on acute malnutrition.

It is important to highlight that food security has a direct effect on the nutrition of vulnerable groups: children under 5 years of age, pregnant and lactating women. For this reason, it is necessary to improve their access to food and a varied diet, as the nutritional status of these groups can continue to deteriorate and lead to acute malnutrition, which increases the risk of infant mortality.

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Venezuela - October 2020

Situation Report

Cluster Status

Protection

157,810
People reached by services in October

Needs

The flow of people moving from the interior of the country to the border areas (Apure, Bolivar, Tachira and Zulia), with the intention of leaving Venezuela, continues. Due to the official closure of borders, they cross through informal routes (trochas), increasing protection risks, including gender-based violence (GBV), especially against girls, adolescents and women. At any time and place, people on the move is exposed to situations of trafficking and smuggling as well as risks to their lives, which was the case of 32 Venezuelans who died at sea after their boats sank while trying to reach Trinidad and Tobago from Güiria (state of Sucre).

Limitations in access to fuel, transportation, electricity and internet make it difficult for survivors to access response services, including GBV, so it is necessary to think of alternatives to ensure that care reaches the most vulnerable and those with specific needs, while mitigating challenges to their means of livelihood.

Along with the increased flow of people in mobility, there has been an increase in the reported number of separated and unaccompanied children and adolescents crossing the border through irregular routes.

Response

During October, the Protection Cluster reached, through its partners, a total of 157,810 women, men, children and adolescents. The assistance covered the entire country, with activities carried out in the 23 states and the Capital District. The states with the greatest number of beneficiaries were Miranda (45,896), Bolivar (32,971), Zulia (16,762), Tachira (8,463) and the Capital District (7,165).

727 children and adolescents, adults and elderly people at risk received specialized protection services, including individual psychosocial care (338) and legal advice (389). 43 at-risk adults and children and adolescents benefited from access to legal documentation; 2,523 people with specific needs received material assistance; 8,054 people from the community and institutions received training in prevention and mitigation of protection risks, and another 76 people also participated, as part of the process of strengthening community centers and spaces. Moreover, 4,625 people benefited from the strengthening of state institutions in Zulia (Civil Protection and CONARE), Barinas (Ombudsman's Office), Apure (Ombudsman's Office), La Guaira (Ombudsman's Office and Los Caracas Isolation Center), Carabobo (Ombudsman's Office), through the provision of material assistance to ensure the rights of people with specific needs.

752 girls, adolescents and women accessed GBV response services, including case management services (237), legal support (79) and individual psychosocial assistance (436). A total of 7,437 children, adolescents and adults benefited from GBV prevention activities, including the delivery of dignity kits, reaching a total of 520 girls and women in communities in Tachira, Bolivar and Apure. Part of these activities were carried out in 3 PASIs in Tachira and Bolivar. These actions were complemented with training on GBV prevention and mitigation (70) and on the establishment of safe spaces.

13,683 at-risk children and adolescents (most of them between the ages of 5 and 17) and their caregivers benefited from individual and group psychosocial support. 48,860 children, mostly under 3 months of age, had access to birth certificates in hospitals (of these, 30 civil birth records), and 12,890 affected and at-risk children and adolescents had access to administrative services and child protection programs. Moreover, 55,233 people from the community were trained in child protection issues (including the Guía Protege), and 1,066 people from state institutions responsible for the protection of children and adolescents and NGO members benefited from training and material assistance to prevent and respond to violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation of children.

Gaps

It is necessary to expand psychosocial support sessions, as well as improve access to the judicial system for vulnerable people, including youth and the elderly, with special emphasis on disability.

Strengthened coordination between humanitarian organizations and institutions is required to make GBV situations visible and promote coordinated actions to help mitigate and respond to these risks, especially in the case of girls, adolescents and women, as well as people with disabilities.

It is also necessary to reinforce protection in intersectoral projects that include working with families and communities to develop safe environments for children and adolescents.

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Venezuela - October 2020

Situation Report

Cluster Status

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene

492,685
People reached in October

Needs

Although the number of positive COVID-19 cases stabilized in October, pressure on water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services has increased, both at PASIs and health facilities and in communities, where prevention measures require greater support from WASH services.

Response

In October, 17 members of the Cluster reported having assisted 492,685 people in 65 municipalities in 17 states of the country. During 2020, through the sectoral response, contributions were made to 41 organizations that have assisted 3,231,605 people in 136 municipalities in 22 states of the country with some kind of WASH intervention.

In the month of October, 111 healthcare centers received WASH support, including 23 new facilities, mainly through the provision of hygiene supplies (79), safe waste management (20), activities to ensure safe water (33) and the installation of hand hygiene points (8). Since the beginning of the year, WASH interventions have benefited more than 242 healthcare facilities.

In October, WASH assistance also reached 239 educational centers and 46 protection centers (285 in total), mostly through the provision of hygiene supplies (203 and 31, respectively) and activities to ensure safe water (34 and 10).

Regarding support to communities, a total of 244,485 people in 86 parishes in 13 states have benefited from WASH interventions, most of them in Bolivar (136,630), Miranda (33,855), Tachira (30,025) and Zulia (25,100). This brings the total number of people assisted in communities between January and October to 2,312,520 in 227 parishes in 22 states, mostly in Tachira (1,277,350), Bolivar (359,425), Miranda (326,305), Delta Amacuro (151,077), and Zulia (97,110).

Gaps

In health facilities, there have been reports of insufficient cleaning/disinfection products and infectious waste disposal mechanisms. It is necessary to complement planned activities to ensure complete WASH/IPC packages and increase coverage.

WASH needs in temporary shelters (PASI) remain significant and limited by the insufficient availability of funds.

COVID-19 prevention and quarantine measures limit the possibilities and timelines for training, implementation and distribution of supplies. Lack of access to fuel affects the entire production and service supply chain.

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Venezuela - October 2020

Situation Report

Cluster Status

Food Security

56,813
People reached in October

Needs

Returnees require nutritional assistance and support, not only at entry points with direct food assistance, but also in their host communities. To this end, it is necessary to support them with initiatives to improve their food situation in an autonomous manner.

Fuel shortages persist, affecting the private agricultural sector, which has shown an increase in production costs that reflects in the final price of food.

Response

In September, 56,813 people benefited from food security activities, including food distribution and production in 69 municipalities in 19 states of the country.

The main activities reported by Cluster partners were:

  • Distribution of supplementary food in educational institutions, community centers and health facilities; support for the production and distribution of nutritionally enriched 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 years of age with acute malnutrition.

  • Provision of seeds, tools, small equipment, animals and technical assistance for food production to meet immediate needs, with special attention to households with female heads of household.

  • Assistance through cash transfers or coupons to vulnerable households, with special attention to female -headedof households.

  • Technical strengthening and equipping of public institutions and local organizations that implement food and nutritional security activities, feasibility analysis for interventions, and training in various trades that support food production, agriculture and the acquisition of life skills.

Gaps

It is necessary to strengthen the response capacity of the Cluster and mobilize more resources for a response in line with the scale of the needs.

Cash-based transfers (CBT) or coupon assistance can be effective mechanisms to respond to emergency food needs, once the fiscal conditions and legal framework for this type of assistance are clarified.

Fuel shortages in some states continue to have an impact on agricultural and livestock guilds, which are concerned about the consequences of not being able to use the machinery and equipment necessary for food production, as well as transport food from the states of Apure, Barinas, Lara, Tachira and Zulia.

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Venezuela - October 2020

Situation Report

Cluster Status

Education

165,853
Received educational material in October

Needs

The gradual activation of schools through remote learning together with weekly pedagogical assistance requires intersectoral support to ensure a safe return to classes. Cluster partners warn that the defunding of the sector is affecting many local NGOs and disrupting some of their operations.

Conditions for educational continuity during preventive school closures are adverse, including reduced access to connectivity, limited technological availability and intermittent power services. These circumstances have greater impact on the most vulnerable children and adolescents with disabilities, indigenous population and children and adolescents in hospitals.

Response

For Mental Health Day (October 10), the Education Cluster, with the support of the children and adolescent AoR and its partners, launched the transmedia learning box, with open resources relating to mental health, psychosocial support and child and adolescent protection for teachers, public officials and learning communities.

On October 12, an event entitled “The centrality of education for the post-pandemic world” was organized with the participation of the Global and Regional Cluster, in-country authorities from OCHA, UNICEF and UNESCO, and civil society representatives, aiming to advocate for prioritizing the education sector in the 2021 humanitarian response.

Moreover, the second group began the course “The right to education in times of crisis” organized by Save The Children and supported by the Education Cannot Wait fund with new modules on the safe reopening of schools and humanitarian management for civil society.

In order to improve the learning conditions and educational continuity of children and adolescents, during October, distribution of educational materials for individuals and households continued. This initiative reached a total of 165,853 children and adolescents (49 per cent girls and 51 per cent boys), mainly in Bolivar and Zulia. Likewise, 41,992 children and adolescents (47 per cent girls and 53 per cent boys) were reached with the distribution of dry food through the support of the school feeding program, benefiting mostly children and adolescents in the Capital District and Miranda.

2,782 adolescents and young people (56 per cent girls and 44 per cent boys) participated in remote learning initiatives aimed at promoting educational levelling, life skills and technical training, mostly in Miranda and Zulia. 33,922 children and adolescents were assisted with psycho-educational support activities online, by telephone or through home visits (51 per cent girls and 49 per cent boys) in the Capital District and Zulia.

One of the new activities incorporated in the response to COVID-19 was remote education through multiplatform resources (television, radio, virtual and/or printed) for children and adolescents affected by school closures. During this period, 17,640 students were reached, mostly in the Capital District and Zulia.

In October, the reach of key messages aimed at the school community was the highest since they began to be disseminated through social media and the Fe y Alegría National Radio Network. The latter is strengthening its capabilities within the framework of the project financed by the Education Cannot Wait fund, reaching 8,946,429 people, especially in Anzoategui and Tachira.

Initiatives for the educational reintegration of out-of-school children and adolescents also continued, with 3,885 (48 per cent girls and 52 per cent boys) participating in the non-formal education and learning space in Miranda and Zulia. In addition, scholarships and other incentives were offered to teachers and staff, reaching 537 people (18 per cent women and 82 per cent men), mainly in Tachira and Zulia.

For the HRP 2021, the Education Cluster updated the humanitarian logical framework based on a Secondary Data Review (SDR) developed with the support of the Global Cluster and the annual review workshop with the Strategic Advisory Group (SAG).

Gaps

Limited international funding for the sector aggravates the situation and jeopardizes the sustainability of the actions. This is particularly critical for local and community organizations that do not have the support of international funds. The lack of funds has resulted in a gap in the educational reintegration of out-of-school children of 94 per cent. Likewise, the gap in life skills and technical training activities with adolescents and young people is 83 per cent, the gap in the distribution of school kits is 75 per cent, and in regard to school meals, only a little more than half of the target has been reached.

Despite the efforts of national authorities and the support of the Cluster in the availability of a remote multi-platform offer, access differs between states, which is deepened by the lack of international funding for sustainable sources of internet, improvement of electricity service and technological investment in remote communities. Support from the education sector for the reception and inclusion of returnees is also underfunded.

Urgent financial support is required to ensure rapid cross-sectoral deployment with WASH, Protection and Health operational actions for a safe return to school by 2021.

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Venezuela - October 2020

Situation Report

Cluster Status

Shelter, Energy and Non-Food Items (NFIs)

143,603
Reached by assistance in October

Needs

Given the high levels of rainfall recorded during October in Venezuela, multiple rivers overflowed in more than 10 states of the country, including the capital, Caracas. The partial overflowing of the Guaire river around Petare affected approximately hundred houses. In Aragua, one of the states most affected by the rains, at least a hundred houses in the municipality of El Limón, located on the banks of the river of the same name, have been seriously damaged. Additionally, thousands of homes in the municipalities of Girardot, Linares Alcántara and Mariño were affected. Local authorities and Civil Protection, with the support of UN agencies and NGOs with presence in the country, have responded to the emergency in the affected states, but there is need for assistance with basic non-food items and ensuring safe and dignified accommodation for the affected people.

The growing number of people leaving the country, compared to the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, highlights the need to provide safe and dignified accommodation for people on the move as they pass through transit states and border municipalities. However, there are multiple temporary shelters that remain closed due to the pandemic, so it is necessary to adapt the protocols for the operation of these spaces.

Response

During October, a total of 143,603 people (57 per cent female and 43 per cent male) benefited from improved access to safe shelter, energy and/or non-food items in 8 states of the country and the Capital District. The states with the highest number of beneficiaries were Tachira (73,565), Zulia (32,623) and the Capital District (18,005). In line with recent months, most of the response in October focused on COVID-19 interventions in shelters and health facilities, while the rest were interventions for people with specific needs in prioritized communities, based on gender, age and diversity considerations.

A total of 3,246 people were reached by activities in temporary shelters, including the installation of 50 prefabricated housing units in Ciudad Deportiva, in the state of Barinas, which increased the housing capacity for the quarantine of Venezuelan returnees to 1,500. Also, the Hotel Maracay of the Caracas Isolation Center (La Guaira) was refurbished, including the renovation of walls, electrical system and provision of furniture and equipment for the rooms and common areas, and accommodation was provided for people on the move at the Temporary Care Shelter in Ureña (Tachira). Activities in community and institutional spaces and centers, including health centers, reached a total of 135,597 people. These included the provision of buckets and solar lamps to a total of 24 CDIs and outpatient clinics in Tachira, Zulia and Miranda; the refurbishment of the Simon Bolivar CDI in Miranda; the provision of mosquito nets in 7 hospitals in Tachira; the refurbishment of the triage room at the Central Hospital in San Cristóbal; the provision of mosquito nets to 3 nursing homes in Tachira; the provision of equipment to the Ombudsman's Offices in Tachira and Carabobo; the provision of equipment and refurbishment of the Antonio José de Sucre Community Council headquarters; and the installation of 2 prefabricated housing units at the San Cristóbal Passenger Terminal as data collection areas.

The activities carried out in the prioritized communities reached a total of 4,760 vulnerable people in the states of Apure, Bolivar, Capital District, Miranda, Tachira, Zulia, La Guaira and Barinas. These included the delivery of a total of 1,127 solar lamps in Apure, Barinas, Bolivar, La Guaira and Miranda, the distribution of nom-food items to 2,846 vulnerable people and 25 kits for people on the move (consisting of a mat, an individual blanket, a mosquito net and a kitchen set).

Gaps

Although there was an increase in the number of people reached in Tachira, assistance in other prioritized states, including border states such as Apure and Amazonas, continues to be limited.

Intermittent and limited fuel supply, along with lack of funding, continue to be the main operational challenges for partner organizations in reaching vulnerable people and accessing remote locations.

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Venezuela - October 2020

Situation Report

Cluster Status

Logistics

Needs

Due to COVID-19 quarantine measures, humanitarian actors continue to face access challenges that have an impact on project implementation. At the same time, the 7+7 scheme, which consists of seven days of reactivation of economic sectors and seven days of strict quarantine, was in effect until the end of November and facilitated movements during the weeks of flexibilization. However, organizations need support to obtain permits to continue deliveries and activities on the ground.

Response

The Cluster continues providing coordination and support through information management, updates and reports on logistical capacity, constraints and access, including guidelines and mechanisms within the framework of the COVID-19 Global Humanitarian Response Plan.

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

Through means of communication such as group communications and mailing lists, the Cluster seeks to promote the exchange of practical logistical information among its partners.

Gaps

Disruptions in the global supply chain, including air and sea traffic restrictions and border closures, continue to have an impact on the ability to procure supplies on a global scale. The have been joint efforts to activate shared transport services and an inter-agency prioritization system for critical supply purchases within the Global Humanitarian Response Plan COVID-19. The transportation of humanitarian supplies was limited during the last period. Humanitarian organizations are facing an insufficient supply to transport and import materials needed to carry out their programs. The closure of airspace and borders has hindered the entry and exit for NGO humanitarian personnel, affecting the development of their programs and the effectiveness of their responses to the pandemic.

Flights organized and managed as part of the World Food Program's logistical support have benefited humanitarian personnel, but due to the complexity of migration procedures, access to these flights has been restricted for NGO humanitarian personnel.

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Venezuela - October 2020

Situation Report
Coordination

Coordination

Field Coordination Hubs liaise with local authorities and partners to support needs assessment, response implementation, as well as advocacy on logistical and access issues.

As part of the 2021 Humanitarian Programming Cycle, OCHA has supported clusters and humanitarian partners in the process of reviewing and updating projects to be incorporated into the 2021 Humanitarian Response Plan.

During the rainy season, the Field Coordination Hubs have kept monitoring the situation and the impact in the different states of the country, with the purpose of following up with authorities regarding support requirements.

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Venezuela - October 2020

Situation Report
Analysis

Common operational challenges

  • The humanitarian response urgently requires more funding to sustain and scale up implemented activities; many partners highlight critical funding gaps even to strengthen the response to COVID-19.

  • Humanitarian organizations must adapt their response to the pandemic context to minimize the risk of contagion, especially for staff on the front lines of the response.

  • Logistics challenges such as delays in the import of some supplies, transportation availability and fuel shortages have increased due to movement constraints throughout the country.

  • The magnitude of the needs requires a humanitarian response with greater operational capacity, including more operational space for national and international NGOs with experience in health emergencies and in line with humanitarian principles.

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