ICRC's Budget For Venezuela Doubles In 2019 To $20Mln - Regional Office Head

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ICRC's Budget for Venezuela Doubles in 2019 to $20Mln - Regional Office Head

The budget of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Venezuela has doubled this year and now stands at $20 million, and the organization is prepared to try to further increase its funding for aid operations in the Latin American country if required, Jordi Raich Curco, the head of the ICRC regional delegation for Mexico and Central America, told Sputnik

MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 14th March, 2019) The budget of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Venezuela has doubled this year and now stands at $20 million, and the organization is prepared to try to further increase its funding for aid operations in the Latin American country if required, Jordi Raich Curco, the head of the ICRC regional delegation for Mexico and Central America, told Sputnik.

"Actually our budget for Venezuela has more than doubled this year. Today it is twice than what we foresaw in January and we have doubled our budget for Venezuela, and should there be more needs, we can always try to get more funds and do more ... Now it is $20 million," Raich Curco said.

He also stressed that the ICRC was closely monitoring the situation on the ground in Venezuela to be able to adapt its response to the people's needs.�

"The areas where we are concentrating [in Venezuela], there are mostly health, water and sanitation and protection [issues], particularly in terms of migrants and in terms of detention in prisons," Raich Curco pointed out.

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza said in late February his country was working with ICRC, the United Nations and the European Union to get financial, technical and humanitarian assistance.

Venezuela is currently going through a dire political crisis. It all started in January when lawmaker Juan Guaido was elected as the leader of opposition-led National Assembly, whose authority has not been recognized by other government branches since 2016. After his election was annulled by the Venezuelan Supreme Court, Guaido proclaimed himself the "interim president" of Venezuela.

Legitimate Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, who was sworn in for his second presidential term on January 10 after winning the May election, which part of the opposition boycotted, called Guaido's move an attempt to stage a coup orchestrated by Washington.

On February 23, the Venezuelan opposition tried to force US-sponsored aid into Venezuela through its borders with Colombia and Brazil, both of which support the opposition. The failed attempt sparked clashes between Venezuelan officers, who prevented trucks from crossing the country's border without permission, and pro-aid protesters. Maduro denounced the unauthorized aid delivery as part of Washington's attempts to intervene in Venezuela and oust him from power.

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