Once rich Venezuela has been experiencing an unprecendented crisis since 2013, which has now led to famine. Almost 80% of about 33 million Venezuelans suffer from extreme poverty. Added to this are galloping inflation, the spread of organised crime and the consequences of the pandemic. More than five million Venezuelans have already left the country. ACN is standing by the Church in this grave crisis.
Under Maduro’s regime, Venezuela’s economic decline is falling into a bottomless abyss. The lack of public services, such as energy, water, gas and fuel, means that people no longer have access to essential goods, making survival nearly impossible in many regions of the country. People are desperate and the suicide rate is high. Many depend on money transfers from relatives abroad or finance their livelihoods through illegal businesses, which in turn allows organised crime and drug trafficking to continue to grow.
The lack of public services makes survival almost impossible in many regions of the country.
The pandemic has also hit Venezuela hard. Most COVID-19 patients are on their own, as medical care in hospitals was already catastrophic before the pandemic. Among the thousands of victims of the pandemic are also numerous priests and religious, as well as two bishops: the Archbishop Emeritus of Caracas, Cardinal Jorge Urosa Savino, and Bishop Cástor Oswaldo Azuaje Pérez of Trujillo. Both were long-time project partners and friends of ACN.
The crisis has brought many people closer to the Church.Bishop Raul Biord of La Guaira
In Venezuela, the Church is practically the only force standing by the suffering population. Therefore, our aid serves above all to enable the Church to continue to fulfil its mission and to save people from despair. In the year under review, for example, ACN ensured that priests and religious were able to continue their ministry, above all by providing Mass stipends and material aid.