© Reuters


Over 4 million

Venezuelans fled the country between 2015 and 2019


of households in Venezuela are affected by food insecurity


of essential medicines are unavailable

The situation in Venezuela

The economic crisis in Venezuela has serious consequences for the healthcare situation and health services in the country.

Over 4 million Venezuelans fled the country between 2015 and 2019. Lack of access to good quality health services and medical treatment is second only to food shortages among the reasons for migration. This critical situation is aggravated by the fact that direct international aid is still very limited.

4,1 million people are suffering from malnutrition in Venezuela

In 2019, 80% of households in Venezuela were affected by food insecurity and 4.1 million people were suffering from malnutrition (an increase from 10.5% to 13% in two years).

Between 2016 and 2018, maternal mortality rose by 65% and infant mortality by 35% to a level of 21.1 per 1,000 live births.

Over half of Venezuelan healthcare professionals who were registered in 2012 have left the country. As a result, medical care and treatment has been directly affected at all levels by staff shortages. This trend is continuing which means the country’s entire healthcare system is set to be further weakened.

The situation is compounded by a desperate lack of medical supplies and healthcare facilities. 80% of essential medicines are currently unavailable in the country. 22% of emergency services are not operating and 70% of them only operate intermittently.



Au Venezuela, la mortalité infantile a augmenté de 35%, atteignant un niveau de 21,1 pour 1000 naissances vivantes. © Reuters
Au Venezuela, la mortalité infantile a augmenté de 35%, atteignant un niveau de 21,1 pour 1000 naissances vivantes. © Reuters

Our activities in Venezuela

The aim of Médecins du Monde’s work in Venezuela is to help to improve the health of the most vulnerable members of the population and those most affected by the crisis.

In 2019, in addition to our office in Caracas, Médecins du Monde had medical teams made up of doctors, nurses, psychologists and community healthcare professionals in five states: Distrito Capital, Bolívar, Miranda, Sucre and Zulia.

The Médecins du Monde teams have been working in partnership with two organisations. AVESSOC is a local association of health centres which provides quality healthcare services to the most vulnerable communities. CARITAS VENEZUELA is an organisation which focuses on welfare promotion and self-help for those most in need.


Our work in Venezuela is delivered through the following activities:

  • Establishment of an epidemiological surveillance system
  • Production of epidemiological and nutritional bulletins
  • Establishment of primary healthcare services to ensure universal, free access for vulnerable people
  • Participation in the establishment of a solidarity fund to provide access to follow-up examinations and treatment
  • Provision of essential medicines, medical supplies and equipment
  • Provision of consultations for mental health and psychosocial support
  • Delivery of health education activities at community level
  • Establishment of a patient referral and counter-referral system
  • Training for Caritas staff on health topics, including mental health
  • Establishment of caregiver support activities
  • Strengthening community mobilisation through peer educators and partners
  • Financial and technical support for the AVESSOC teams


© Quentin Top
© Quentin Top




In 2019


  • carried out 16,041 medical consultations
  • conducted 2,210 mental health consultations
  • ran 250 workshops and community activities
  • provided 1,500 patients with medical treatment
  • provided 544 vulnerable people with financial support by meeting part of the cost of their medical treatment from the solidarity fund


November: contact mission.
February: exploratory mission.
July: beginning of technical and financial support for AVESSOC.
October: opening of the office in Caracas, recruitment of local teams, start of direct delivery of activities.
July: mission transferred to MdM Spain which continues activities in Caracas and 4 other states.

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