Photo: Christian Jepsen/NRC

NRC in Venezuela



A total of


people in need received our assistance in 2023.


Humanitarian overview

Venezuela’s economic, social and political context has led to a situation of humanitarian needs and of protection. At least 7 million people in the country are in need assistance. An estimated 7 million Venezuelans have also left the country. Over half of migrants, asylum seekers and refugees crossing the Darien Gap, between Colombia and Panama, are from Venezuela.

Although since 2022 Venezuela has shown signs of economic stabilisation and growth, people still face socio-economic challenges, such as limited access to essential services and to economic opportunities for the most vulnerable. The sectoral sanctions imposed, mostly by the United States, also affect the rights of Venezuelans in a variety of ways in their daily lives, according to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

The 2023 Venezuela's Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) was funded at 51.5% of the total requirement, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), an improvement from the two previous annual HRPs.

People we helped in Venezuela in 2023

  • 10,206
    people benefited from our education programme
  • 22,752
    people benefited from our food security programme
  • 1
    person benefited from our protection from violence programme
  • 14,466
    people benefited from our ICLA programme
  • 34,106
    people benefited from our WASH programme


NRC's operation 

NRC has been active in Venezuela since 2005, supporting Colombian refugees. In 2019 we expanded our operations to support Venezuelans in light of the humanitarian situation.

NRC is one of the largest NGOs in Venezuela, with an annual budget of USD 10 million. Our work includes water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH); education; livelihoods and food security; information, counselling, and legal assistance (ICLA), and protection from violence. We work with local partners to complement our response, contribute to capacity building of local communities, and play a critical role in coordination at multiple levels.


NRC EducationEducation


NRC empowers children and families by supporting access to the education system, wellbeing, and retention in schools. Through rights promotion, we work with teachers, parents, school principals, local and national education authorities, and community leaders.

NRC’s education programme includes:

  • identification of out-of-school children and enrolment in the bridging programme to support return to school, through community outreach and in support of local education authorities
  • sharing techniques with teachers so that they better deliver remedial classes and can support return to school, as well as provision of psychosocial support to affected children
  • provision of educational materials to students, teachers and institutions in line with the national curriculum, to facilitate learning
  • technical support to local education authorities to reduce dropout and absenteeism of children and teachers


NRC Information, counselling and legal assistance (ICLA)Information, counselling and legal assistance (ICLA)


Legal documentation is essential for people to exercise their rights, such as education and formal employment. NRC provides information, counselling, and direct assistance to people in need of obtaining their legal identity and legal stay.

NRC’s ICLA services include:

  • organising of information sessions, in collaboration with local leaders, to provide communities with guidance for obtaining birth certificates and ID cards in the relevant registry offices
  • one-to-one counselling for specialised cases identified during the information sessions
  • transportation to the relevant registry offices when the financial costs are one of the main barriers to obtaining civil and identity documents
  • support for Venezuelan returnees and their children born abroad to obtain missing identity documentation
  • support for people in need of international protection in Venezuela throughout their asylum application process, and support to renew their provisional permits while their applications for international protection are being assessed


NRC Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH)Water, sanitation and hygiene promotion (WASH)


Many needs in Venezuela are mainly linked to limits in service provision and infrastructure conditions due to the economic crisis and long periods of neglect. NRC works at household and community levels, including in schools and health centres.

NRC provides the following services:

  • installation, maintenance and rehabilitation of water and sanitation services with the aim of improving hygiene conditions
  • capacity building to create and support existing community-based hygiene committees
  • provision of water filters and other hygiene items to families so they can treat and consume safe water
  • distribution of culturally adapted menstrual hygiene management items to women and girls


NRC Livelihoods and food securityLivelihoods and food security


Limited income opportunities and years of high inflation, among other factors, have contributed to the food security situation in Venezuela. Our activities are designed to both support the immediate needs of families and communities, and seek out sustainable solutions to increase resilience.

NRC provides:

  • material, equipment and seeds together with capacity strengthening to establish community, school and family gardens
  • immediate assistance to vulnerable families through complementary food baskets
  • awareness-raising campaigns to communities to promote improved meal preparation, nutritional balance, and food hygiene practices
  • enhancing agro-based local markets through technical support for food production and processing practices
  • provision of manuals for horticultural and domestic animal production
  • training and inputs for start-up and family business expansion with the aim of supporting market systems development


Protection from violence

Venezuela is experiencing a context of localised insecurity and growing irregular economic activity. This is particularly the case in border states due to the proximity to the Colombian conflict, and in mining areas due to their economic importance. Violence generates protection risks for the local population.

This area of activity was established at the end of 2023. NRC will provide:

  • individual services, including psychosocial support
  • information to communities
  • protection monitoring to identify trends and analysis
  • techniques and methodologies to protection institutions



About NRC in Venezuela

International staff
Areas of operation
Caracas (Country Office); Táchira, Zulia, Bolívar, Apure
National staff

NRC in Venezuela

Country Director

Alba Gutierrez Garcia