Venezuela was once one of Latin America’s most affluent countries. Today, thanks to the mismanagement and corruption of the illegitimate regime of Nicolás Maduro, Venezuela suffers from shortages of food, medicine, and jobs – and there’s no end in sight. As a result, Venezuelans are fleeing the country in droves.
Over the past three years, some 4.5 million of Venezuela’s 30 million people have fled the country. But this means that close to 26 million people are left to endure horrendous conditions.
To help alleviate the suffering, the United States has provided more than 650 million dollars to support humanitarian and development programs throughout the region, including nearly $56 million for relief efforts and more than $128 million in development assistance inside Venezuela.
But providing humanitarian aid is a short-term remedy. We need new ideas for long-term solutions. That is why the U.S. Agency for International Development and the Inter-American Development Bank launched the BetterTogether, or Juntos-Es-Mejor, Challenge. USAID and the IDB are providing 13.5 million dollars to crowd-source, fund, and scale innovative solutions that support not only Venezuelans in Venezuela, but displaced Venezuelans throughout Latin America and the Caribbean - as well as the communities that host them.
BetterTogether will offer financial support in the form of grants, loans, and equity investments to anyone that proposes a promising humanitarian project to assist Venezuelan communities. USAID and the IDB will also offer technical assistance, access to networks, and publicity to help humanitarian entrepreneurs reach recipient communities all over the world.
Specifically, USAID and the IDB are looking to fund projects that help Venezuelans inside Venezuela, and to help Venezuelans and host communities in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Panama, Peru, and Trinidad and Tobago. The objectives are to build skills and networks; promote peaceful community relationships; establish livelihoods and improve access to products essential to daily life; and improve the delivery of services, such as education, health, and basic utilities. USAID and the IDB are also looking to fund projects that improve access to, and the transfer of, money.
Project funding will range from 25 thousand dollars to develop and test an early-stage idea, to 1.5 million dollars for solutions with demonstrated commercial viability or public sector partnerships.
To propose a project idea or contribute as a partner to the BetterTogether Challenge, please visit www.JuntosEsMejorVE.org.