NRC works in Venezuela providing legal assistance to population in need of international protection to know their rights.

Context: During the refugee status determination process, people in need of international protection without identification could be deported to Colombia, where they fled from because armed conflict. Movility, access to food or work restrictions increased during the first period of time in Venezuela.

Estado de Barinas - Venezuela
Photo: Fernanda Pineda - NRC
Read caption Legal counselling in Estado de Barinas. Photo: NRC/Fernanda Pineda

NRC in Venezuela

Venezuela are in the midst of an economic, institutional and social crisis that has displaced millions of it's inhabitants.


A total of


people in need received our assistance in 2018.

Humanitarian overview

Venezuela is experiencing a progressively worsening economic, institutional and social crisis.

The socioeconomic crisis in Venezuela continues to deteriorate throughout 2019, leading to further collapse of services, deterioration of health facilities, food security, and nutrition among the population, and one of the biggest mass displacements in South America’s history.

Food availability is hampered by import restrictions, and price increases reduce access to food, medicine and other basic goods. According to the IMF, the estimated inflation rate for 2019 is 10 million per cent, with prices doubling every 26 days. The economic crisis is exacerbated by the deepening political crisis, characterised by the erosion of democratic institutions and growing civil discontent.

An estimated 3.4 million Venezuelans have left their country because of generalised violence, persecution, and poor living conditions. In Venezuela, those who cannot or do not want to leave bear the brunt of chronic scarcities and collapsed systems.

In March 2019, the UN estimated that 6.5 million people need humanitarian assistance.

People we helped in Venezuela in 2018

people benefited from our food security programme
people benefited from our shelter programme
people benefited from our ICLA programme

NRC’s operation

NRC has been working in Venezuela since 2005, providing assistance to Colombian refugees and host communities. With the change of the situation in the last few years, NRC has gradually expanded its target group from Colombian refugees to work more with the Venezuelan vulnerable population.

NRC has offices in San Cristóbal, San Antonio, Caracas and will soon open new offices in Puerto Ordaz and Maracaibo.

Our activities in Venezuela aims to respond to the needs of the most affected people in the following sectors and for which activities include:

NRC EducationEducation

  • Protection against Sexual Exploitation and Abuse trainings and Trainings of Trainers for teachers and school personnel
  • Support to pupils to reduce drop-out and ensure reintegration into the school system
  • Improvement of school spaces and facilities, addressing protection risks


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

  • Information, counselling and legal assistance to asylum seekers, refugees and people in need of international protection (PNPIs)
  • Guidance and assistance to PNPI wanting to access the services provided by the Refugee Commissions and access their basic rights to housing, land and property
  • Provision of technical support to local authorities to improve their capacity to serve those who need it most
  • Information services, guidance and legal assistance to the vulnerable population affected by the deterioration of the economic crisis to facilitate access to legal documentation, information on safe migration and routes for attention to basic rights
  • Facilitation of “open-days” in vulnerable communities, in partnership with community leaders and other NGOs, to identify cases at protection risk (especially women and children) and families with special attention needs.

NRC Livelihoods and food securityLivelihoods and food security

  • Support to school feeding programmes, in partnership with a local partner
  • Improvement of school’s equipment, school’s kitchen and storage spaces
  • Provision of supplemental nutrition packages for schoolchildren, their households and teachers in the most vulnerable schools and communities
  • Provision of soup kitchens: in partnership with parishes and local authorities NRC provides hot lunches to the more vulnerable members of selected vulnerable communities
  • Provision of in-kind family food-baskets
  • Multipurpose cash assistance
  • Support to food production: through capacity building, market assessment, and provision of seeds/livestock to re-install the collapsed capacities of the agricultural schools and contribute to strengthen food security in the wider communities

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

  • Provision of safe water and sanitation services through the establishment of an integrated community centre for the provision of services to populations in transit, displaced populations and vulnerable host-communities in San Antonio de Táchira, at the Venezuela border area with Colombia
  • Provision of safe water and rehabilitation of sanitary facilities, reconstruction or upgrade in targeted schools
  • Distribution of family hygiene kits and dignity kits
  • Design and delivery of training-workshops for sustainable and eco-friendly menstrual hygiene practices, information and awareness activities for sustainable household hygiene and eco-friendly practices
  • Hygiene promotion campaigns and initiatives
NRC Venezuela is grateful for the generous support from our donors:
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway (NMFA)
  • Global Affairs Canada (GAC)
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs of France
  • European Commission Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (ECHO)
  • The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR)
  • The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)
  • Sweden International Development Agency (SIDA)

About NRC in Venezuela

International staff
Areas of operations
Capital District, Miranda, Bolivar, Apure, Portuguesa, Barinas, Merida, Tachira y Zulia.
Budget 2018
USD 2.8 million
National staff

NRC in Venezuela

Country Director

Giovanni Rizzo


+58  212 263 2113 / +58 4247306704