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U.S. Makes New, $6 Million Pledge To Help Venezuelan Refugees Settle In Other Countries

Fernando Vergara
Venezuelan refugees crossing the border into Colombia this year.

By the end of this year, an estimated 3 million Venezuelans will have left their country – and the humanitarian crisis there – since 2015. The U.S. government just made another contribution to help those Venezuelans get settled in other countries.

Due to their collapsed economy and dictatorial regime, Venezuelans make more requests for asylum in the U.S. than any other nationality. But the Trump Administration has cut back on the number of U.S. visas it grants Venezuelans. As a result, more Venezuelans are pouring over the borders of their South American neighbors, especially Colombia.

The U.S. is helping those countries absorb the refugees, many of whom can no longer find food or medicine back in Venezuela. In April the U.S. Agency for International Development, or USAID, put up $2.5 million in humanitarian aid. Now USAID Director Mark Green – during a visit to the Colombian border city of Cúcuta – has announced a new pledge of $6 million.

Green told Congress earlier this year the Administration could pledge a total of about $12 million. So more U.S. aid for Venezuelan refugees is expected, especially as Venezuela’s crisis worsens.

Expats in South Florida want the U.N. to formally declare the Venezuelan exodus a refugee crisis. They say it would unlock more international aid for those Venezuelan migrants.

Tim Padgett is the Americas Editor for WLRN, covering Latin America, the Caribbean and their key relationship with South Florida. Contact Tim at tpadgett@wlrnnews.org
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