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Venezuela map
UNICEF photo: a smiling young woman with arms around two younger girls, also smiling © UNICEF Venezuela/2018/Párraga


In 2019, UNICEF and partners plan for:

children under 5 years vaccinated against measles


people benefitting from access to safe water


children with access to psychosocial support

2019 requirements: US$70,393,000

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Total people in need: 7 million5
Total children (<18) in need: 3.2 million6

Total people to be reached: 1.3 million7
Total children to be reached: 895,8308

Venezuela’s socio-economic and political environment has deteriorated in 2019 with hyperinflation, shortage of food and medical supplies, under-investment in infrastructure maintenance and human capital, a sharp reduction of access to-and quality of-social services, and massive emigration including of critical skilled labor. Vulnerable populations such as children, pregnant women, the elderly, indigenous people, and low-income households have been disproportionately affected. Basic cost of living remains out of reach for 94 per cent of the population. Vaccine-preventable diseases including measles and diphtheria have re-emerged, and yellow fever and malaria are on the rise. Approximately, 3.7 million people suffer from undernourishment with prevalence almost tripling, from 3.6 per cent in 2010-2012 period to 11.7 per cent in 2015-2017.1 At least 4.3 million people need access to safe water,2 with 14 per cent of the population receiving water only every 15 days.3 The rapid deterioration of a protective environment is exposing children to family separation, gender-based violence (GBV) including trafficking, abuse and sexual exploitation, particularly impacting women and girls, and the worst forms of child labor. An estimated 1.3 million children and adolescents need protection services, while over 1 million children are out of school.4

Humanitarian strategy

2019 [9] programme targets


  • 287,774 children 24-59 months and PLW received deworming treatment
  • 150,000 children aged 6 to 59 months and PLW received micronutrient supplementation
  • 7,000 children under 5 years with SAM and MAM (with or without complications) received acute malnutrition treatment


  • 1,200,000 children under 5 years vaccinated against measles
  • 172,797 newborns and pregnant women received neonatal and maternal lifesaving services in UNICEF supported facilities


  • 800,000 people benefitting from access to safe water10
  • 577,000 people benefitting from access to safe sanitation

Child protection

  • 172,800 people sensitized on prevention and response to cases of exploitation, violence and abuse
  • 129,600 children with access to psychosocial support


  • 680,000 children aged 4 to 18 years in schools received education materials11
  • 13,500 out of school children aged 6-12 years accessing formal and non-formal basic education

In line with the 2019 Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP), UNICEF is implementing an integrated and multisectoral response to address the needs of children, adolescents, and pregnant and lactating women (PLW) arising from the socio-economic and political crisis. Priority interventions include providing essential supplies, strengthening systems and building technical capacity at national and sub-national levels in partnership with national, sub-national authorities, civil society partners, and other United Nations Agencies, and expanding field presence for decentralized operations. UNICEF is focusing on providing water and sanitation services, health services for children and pregnant women, facilitating treatment for children with severe acute malnutrition (SAM), supporting access to education and reaching children affected by violence, abuse and neglect with prevention and assistance including prevention of GBV. Three field offices are operating in Maracaibo (Zulia), San Cristobal (Táchira) and Ciudad Guyana (Bolivar), and a dedicated section in Caracas covers Distrito Capital and Miranda. Moreover, UNICEF leads the nutrition, WASH and education clusters, is the lead agency for the child protection area of responsibility (AoR), and participates actively in the health cluster and GBV AoR. UNICEF’s strategic position, with its long-standing experience, will ensure that children, adolescents, and their care takers are reached by life-saving interventions improving their wellbeing.

Results from 2019

Under the 2018-2019 Scale-up Plan UNICEF along with twenty partners expanded its programmatic reach since October 2018 to meet the growing needs of the most vulnerable population. Between January and June 2019, intensified WASH interventions reached 184,000 people with access to safe water at the community and the facility level, especially in hospitals. Over 60,000 children received learning materials and over 3,170 teachers were trained to enhance their capacity to deliver quality education in supportive environments. Working with partners, UNICEF has strengthened the immunization system through vaccination campaigns to prevent disease outbreaks along with repair and rehabilitation of the cold chain system. UNICEF’s nutrition interventions focus on both prevention and treatment of acute malnutrition with nearly 35,000 caregivers of children under 23 months reached with infant and young child feeding (IYCF) counselling. Nearly 11,000 children have benefited from referral and protection measures, over 12,000 children have accessed psychosocial support. With UNICEF support national level capacity for case management of child victims of violence has been strengthened. Under the Scale-up Plan, UNICEF has been holding the “Jornadas #ConLosNiñosDeVenezuela”, activities to address diverse needs through an integrated model of workshops, entertainment and games, and delivery of key services.

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Funding requirements

UNICEF requires US$70.4 million to ensure continuity and expansion of its support to meet the needs of children, adolescents and women in Venezuela between July-December 2019. This includes the residual requirements from the 2018-19 Scale-up Plan, which has concluded in June. UNICEF's appeal requirement is in line with the 2019 HRP for Venezuela and includes an additional funding to expand the vaccination coverage beyond routine immunization,12 implement WASH high-impact interventions, and amplify education coverage.13 Without adequate and timely funding in 2019, UNICEF and its partners will be unable to address the critical humanitarian needs of children and families in Venezuela.

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1 Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) (2017). Panorama of food and nutrition security in Latin America and the Caribbean, 2017. http://www.fao.org/3/a-i7914e.pdf
2 Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), Humanitarian Response Plan Venezuela: July-December 2019, August 2019.
3 Encuesta Nacional de Condiciones de Vida 2018 (ENCOVI’2018) (presentation of preliminary results), Catholic University of Andrés Bello (UCAB), Central University of Venezuela (UCV) and University of Simón Bolívar (USB), November 2018.
4 Blas Regnault. ‘Venezuela: Una mirada global para la inclusión escolar. Desempeño y calidad escolar para niños, niñas y adolescentes.’ UNICEF, January 2018.
5 Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), Humanitarian Response Plan Venezuela: July-December 2019, August 2019.
6 Ibid.
7 This includes highest targets in WASH, nutrition and education without double counting the same age cohorts. The percentage of adult population targeted by UNICEF is lower than the percentage of adult population in need as UNICEF interventions focus more on vulnerable children. For example, WASH interventions are implemented in schools, child protection, nutrition and health service delivery points/centers, where majority of the population is children.
8 To avoid double counting this figure includes 75 per cent of the nutrition target related to deworming children and education target. Number of children targeted under health immunization interventions have not been considered as part of the total number of people and children to be reached due to the challenge of ensuring retention and the risk of double counting.
9 UNICEF 2019 programme targets are aligned with the 2019 Venezuela Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) and effective for the period July to December 2019.
10 This represent 57 per cent of the WASH sector target. Setting the target has been guided by the needs identified in the HRP and UNICEF's current programme coverage in the 13 states targeted by the Clusters in the 2019 HRP.
11 This target has been established based on needs and UNICEF's current coverage and includes UNICEF HRP target of 590,000 children aged 4-18 years, plus additional 90,000 children to be covered in partnership with civil society organizations.
12 UNICEF to expand coverage beyond the routine immunization to include outbreak prevention and response, such as diphtheria and measles.
13 UNICEF targets and requirements are higher than UNICEF component in 2019 HRP due to expanded interventions in health, WASH, and education. This is to address critical needs where other partners are not present and/or have limited capacity. In education for example, UNICEF expanded its response in six additional states to address critical needs beyond the HRP where there are no other partners present to provide services. For WASH, UNICEF expanded response will lead to high impact and durable solutions.