Join me today in praying for Venezuelans affected by the country’s humanitarian, political and refugee crisis. My name is Fouad Abou-Rizk, and I write Humanitarian Prayers to encourage people to pray for those suffering most in our world.
I pray that Venezuela’s political crisis will be resolved quickly, peaceful, and leave the country with a strong and fair government.
I pray that economic conditions in the country will drastically improve so that people will be able to buy food, medicine, and other essentialls to live dignified lives. I pray that humanitarian aid will be allowed into the country to provide those necessities to people who have no way to access them.
I pray that those suffering from malnutrition will receive quality care to get healthy again. I pray that no more will die from malnutrition, starvation, and preventable illnesses, especially children and the elderly.
I pray that Venezuelans who have fled and those who continue to flee their country will be treated with mercy and compassion. I pray that they will not be seen or treated as pests or burdens in the places they flee to. I pray that wherever they go, they will be met by people with resources to help them.
Notes and Explanations
Venezuela, previously Latin America’s richest country, is facing the region’s largest mass migration in recent history. Over 3 million Venezuelans have fled their country in the last four years or so, with an estimated 5,000 people crossing into neighboring countries each day.
The crisis is entirely manmade, but not related to war or violence. Government policies are responsible for 1.3 million percent inflation in 2018 alone; that number is expected to continue to rise. This means that people can’t afford to buy basic necessities of food, often life-preserving medicines, and clothing.
Venezuela’s health system has largely collapsed. A hospital stated last week that 14 children recently died from contaminated food or water, deaths which should be easily preventable. 9 out of 10 people cannot afford daily food. This is why people are fleeing Venezuela.
This migration crisis has caused resentment and even violence towards Venezuelans in many communities in other South American countries, especially Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru, where most Venezuelans have made their way to.
President Nicolas Maduro, widely seen as responsible for the failing economy due to his socialist policies, has denied that the humanitarian crisis exists and refused to allow humanitarian aid into the country. He has been in power since 2013 and won a second term in 2018’s national elections that the international community generally condemned as illegitimate.
Venezuela’s political crisis has dramatically escalated in recent weeks. On January 23rd, Juan Guaidó, the leader of the National Assembly (Venezuela’s parliament), declared himself interim president. Many nations have since acknowledged him as Venezuela’s legitimate leader instead of Maduro. Last week, Venezuela’s side of a highway border crossing where aid was being stockpiled in neighboring Colombia was blocked by shipping containers. At least 40 people have been killed in recent protests against Maduro.
Read a thorough report on what is happening in Venezuela from Al Jazeera.
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