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UNITED NATIONS (Sputnik) – The United Nations has increased the number of its personnel in Venezuela to over 300 people, UN Spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said in a press briefing on Thursday.
“We are deeply concerned by the substantial humanitarian needs of the people in Venezuela,” Dujarric said. “We have increased our staffing – it has gone from about 190 in September 2017 to just over 300 as of March of this year.”
According to the spokesman, scaling up the UN’s presence in the Latin American country will allow it to equip hospitals to cope with the emergency, providing medical supplies and generators, as well nutrition and vaccinations for pregnant women and children.
“We have been building up our capacity, the secretary-general has been very much focused on both what is going on inside Venezuela, but also on the impact of the movement of people leaving Venezuela, the impact it has had on the neighbouring countries,” Dujarric added.
The United States has been seeking to bring so-called humanitarian aid to Venezuela through the Colombian border since opposition lawmaker Juan Guaido proclaimed himself acting Venezuelan president in January.
However, the US participation in the operation has raised concerns of Venezuela and Russia, among other states, which have suggested that Washington might be arming the Venezuelan opposition and preparing a government overthrow under the guise of a humanitarian campaign. As a result of that, the so-called aid deliveries were blocked by Caracas.
At the same time, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has said that it has gained an opportunity to organize unhindered humanitarian aid deliveries to Venezuela.
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