In regions Americas and Venezuela and in group Americas


2021-12 Factsheet - Venezuela

< Nov 2021
December 2021
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UNHCR, 2021


  • By the end of 2021, the Shelter, Energy and NFI Cluster reached 935,523 beneficiaries through partner organizations. Activities covered 18 states and Capital District.  1106 street solar lamps, 42 electric systems and 222 Refugee Housing Units were installed to support institutions and communities.  Also 14,037 portable solar lamps, 2,988 habitat kits, 1,852 family kits and 845 individual kits have been delivered to support the most vulnerable population.
  • The humanitarian response plan for 2021 integrated 24 projects from 25 organizations with a target population of 1,4 million people with a financial requirement of 45 million dollars.  According to Financial Tracking Services, US$ 6.7 million were received as funding, reaching 14,9% of the financial requirements for the sector.
  • During 2021, there were two assignments for the Venezuelan Humanitarian Fund to channel resources to partners to respond to the humanitarian needs.  The first assignment was made for US$ 3,5 million: 12 projects were financed with a focus on supporting women and elder population, including 3 projects presented by local organizations with components on Shelter, Energy and NFIs.  The second assignment was made for US$ 8 million with a focus on indigenous communities, back to school and people affected by armed conflicts: 18 projects were financed, including 8 projects presented with components on Shelter, Energy and NFIs.
  • In coordination with national authorities, the cluster held meetings during the year with main National Government Authorities.  Cluster met with the National Health Authorities identifying government priorities on COVID-19 vaccination, response to new COVID-19 variants and diseases related to health season.  In meetings with National Education Authorities the “back to school” plan was presented, as well as the cluster activities, identifying an important area of interventions to support “Mi Escuela Bella” (My Beautiful School) and sustainable energy solutions for schools. As for the National Energy Authorities, prioritized geographic areas for intervention without access to the national electric system were identified and socialized with partners.
  • The new Humanitarian Coordinator-Resident Coordinator assumed functions in the last quarter of 2021.  In the first meetings the need for an integrated and impactful response from different sectors in the humanitarian response was set as a priority.




Need analysis

  • During September and October 2021, workshops with experts were conducted in 10 states of the country to analyse the most important needs of the population in the different sectors involved in the humanitarian response in Venezuela.  Within the Shelter, Energy and NFI Cluster, the severity of needs regarding access to energy for cooking, electric energy and shelter were analysed using the Delphi method, with the participation of 23 partner organization including 3 UN agencies, 7 international NGOs and 13 national NGOs. Critical problems related to the sector were identified including health and life threating risks concerning lack of energy and the usage of dangerous fuels and informal connections to the national electrical network; risk associated with improvised shelter built with reused construction materials in risky areas; damages in the infrastructure of institutions providing critical life-saving services to population; and overuse, damage and incapability to replenish NFIs linked to the confinement and economic impact of the pandemic.
  • In 2021 several states of Venezuela including Zulia, Apure, Bolivar, Capital District and Mérida were affected by heavy rains and floods. One of the widest injuries took place in Merida State in August, where a State of Emergency was stablished by the Government to attend people affected by floods and landslides generated by heavy rains. An intersectoral response was required to give response to these events including the delivery of NFIs and support to temporary shelters for people who had lost their homes.  Also, armed conflicts took place in several states of the country during the year, including Apure and Capital District, damaging shelters, leading to human mobility, and compromising humanitarian access. 
  • Reportedly, from the beginning of 2021, dynamics of human mobility including outflows, pendular movements and returns, remained through Venezuelan border with changes associated with political-social events, closure of the border (since 2020), and movements restrictions nationwide. Until late October, the Government stablished restrictions every other week (7+7 scheme) - to prevent the spread of COVID-19 – which caused a greater number of persons on the move during the flexible weeks specially in border states. As of November, the authorities announced a total relaxation of movements restrictions, including the reopening of the border with Colombia on the Táchira state.  Human mobility trends varied significantly during 2021 and supporting the network of temporary shelter with NFIs and repairs to guarantee a safe and dignified spaces for persons in situation of human mobility remained as a priority.


  • During 2021 932,523 individuals were reached by Shelter, Energy and NFI activities (55% female and 45% male) in 18 states and the Capital District.  The states covering the highest number of beneficiaries were mainly border states and central states: Táchira, Sucre, La Guaira, Miranda, Falcón, Zulia, Apure, Mérida and Bolívar. 
  • Interventions scaled their impact by supporting centers providing dignified essential services to population.  94 health centers were benefited from repairs, energy improvements and NFIs, providing an important support to the COVID-19 pandemic prevention, including the support for triage and vaccination areas.  35 temporary collective centers in border areas (including PASIs) were benefited by the response, focusing the response on supporting vulnerable people on the move. 78 community centers and 21 schools providing protection and essential services to population have been benefited through shelter, energy and NFI response.
  • Actions were taken to improve shelter conditions in institutions and community centers.  As part of this response 222 refugee housing units (RHUs) were installed:  104 RHUs in health centres, 24 in collective temporary shelters and PASIs, 21 in military and civil coordination authority spaces, and 73 in community spaces, community centers, institutions, communities, authorities and other locations.  87 centers and institutions including temporary shelters were benefited by rehabilitations and extensions.  Overall, 602,659 individuals have been benefited through shelter interventions.
  • Activities were in place to improve access to energy have reached 227,262 individuals1106 street solar lamps were installed in public places, including the surroundings of institutions benefited by the response, to provide illumination also preventing associated protection risks.  42 electric systems, including photovoltaic systems for institutions, organizations, community centers and collective shelters, were installed allowing access to basic services for the most vulnerable population.
  • 102,602 individuals were benefited from improved access to basic NFIs.  Basic NFI distribution was critical in the assistance of vulnerable people specially those affected by flooding and by armed conflicts.  NFIs delivered included 14,037 portable solar lamps, 2988 habitat kits, 1852 family kits and 845 individual kits, comprising critical items like mosquito nets and insect repellents to prevent extended diseases, pads, sheets and cooking items, rechargeable fans among others.  Basic NFIs have also served to strengthen the capacities of community centers, institutions, and temporary shelters, through basic mobiliary, wheelchairs and kitchen sets, among others.

Gaps / challenges

  • During 2021 shelter, energy and NFI activities were implemented in Amazonas and Delta Amacuro states, where there was no humanitarian response related with the sector in previous years.  However, humanitarian access to remote areas with identified humanitarian needs continues to be a main operational challenge. Fuel shortages, delays in the importation of humanitarian supplies, and the gaps in acceptance and trust between humanitarian actors and regional/local authorities are the main operational challenges identified by partners during 2021.
  • Even though, regional, and local contingency plans have been stablished in some states to respond to rapid-onset emergencies as floods and heavy rains, and actions have been taken to strengthen the capacities of local authorities, there is still a priority to strengthen emergency preparedness and response of humanitarian organizations in conjunction with relevant national and regional authorities such as Civil Protection.
  • Most of the response in 2021 has been delivered by single organizations with few consortiums and associations.  It is a challenge for the HRP 2022- 2023 to add complementarity between NGOs, INGO and UN system in the prioritized geographical areas.
  • In 2021, the cluster has generated several documents for donors highlighting the most important needs, results of interventions and testimonials.  However, direct involvement with donors remains a challenge, including the possibility for organizations to show their own interventions including the possibility to make visits to understand response realities and needs.
  • Severity and impact of humanitarian needs at municipality level – including needs related with access to public services such as electricity and domestic gas – is unclear due to a significant lack of access to official updated data. Also, there are difficulties in identifying the differentiated needs of person on the move in several states, which means a challenge to provide an evidence-based humanitarian response.