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.
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).
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.