SOS Venezuela: Fundraising for a Health Crisis
Organized by: Alice Liu
Thank you to all who have donated! Your donations are making a big difference! This news article with pictures shows the state of food shortages.
June 20, 2016
If you wish to donate and learn more to help Venezuela during this humanitarian crisis, you can do so right here! This online fundraiser is remaining open. As well, there was a concert on June 6th in Montreal that raised additional donations. **Thank you to everyone who donates and who attended the concert**
We are gathering donations to provide medical aid to the ongoing emergency and humanitarian crisis in Venezuela. All proceeds will go to purchasing and delivering medications/medical supplies to hospitals in desperate need in Caracas, Venezuela. This article in the New York Times (May 2016) describes the state of emergency in Venezuelan hospitals, and is what kickstarted me to create this fundraiser. Human Rights Watch helped direct me to the right people and organization that could help.
WHERE WILL DONATIONS GO?
Donations from the concert will go towards a 501(c)3 non-profit charity called Action for Solidarity (www.actionforsolidarity.org), based in Miami under the coordination of Cristobal Plaza. It's their mission to be in solidarity with those in need of medical attention and treatment. Originally created to mobilize support and help those with HIV/AIDS in Venezuela, it now runs a campaign to obtain and deliver medical supplies to Venezuela due to the ongoing health crisis. Action for Solidarity is a sister organization of its main centre in Caracas, Venezuela called Accíon Solidaria, under the direction of Feliciano Reyna. Action for Solidarity acts as a support mechanism abroad for the Accíon Solidaria centre – medical supplies are sent from Miami to Accíon Solidaria centre in Caracas.
HOW ARE DONATIONS USED?
All donations from this fundraiser(with a list of medical supplies needed at major public hospitals in Caracas) will be sent to Action for Solidarity in Miami. In Miami these medical supplies will be purchased, packaged at their Medical Collections Center, transported to Accíon Solidaria run by Feliciano in Caracas, and finally distributed to doctors and nurses working in the hospitals. Packages sent are around 25 kilos each, in quantities of 2-4 of those pacakages, in which customs agents are letting them through. They have also received donations from Italy, Mexico, Spain, and Chile. In June so far they have donated to over 200 people, and supplies have been donated to the hospital of JM de Los Ríos(for children), Magallanes de Catia, and the Tropical Medicine Institute of Venezuela´s Central University. After correspondance with both Feliciano and Cristobal, they have even informed me that they can send photos of this process. Whether we choose to look or not, Venezuela needs our help!
Venezuela is currently in deep political, social, and economic trouble in which the current president Nicolas Maduro has led the government and country into a collapsed state. Venezuelan residents have signed petitions to take Maduro out of power, and in response to the opposition party trying to oust him, Maduro has declared a 60-day state of emergency which enforces further military presence, violence, and control over the markets. Venezuela sits on some of the world's largest oil reserves, but after the significant drop in oil prices, the country has been in economic turmoil.
Due to government negligence, there is a food shortage epidemic. It is a struggle to buy- let alone find- items such as water, flour, sugar, and toilet paper. There are electricity blackouts, in which the government has shut down power for 5 days of the week. Inflation is now the HIGHEST in the world. This year it peaked at 275 percent, by next year it is estimated to surge up to 1000-2000 percent. Extremely overpriced goods are being sold on the black market, as items cannot be found in stores either because they are empty or are looted. A major concern is the collapse in the medical system right now - Hospitals already lack the basic essentials of medicine and supplies needed to treat patients – bandages, gauze, antibiotics, insulin, medications and treatments for cancer – you name it. It is reported that 75% of medicines considered essential by the World Health Organization are not available. The National Assembly has declared the country's health sector a national emergency. Meanwhile, this is occurring in the midst of the Zika virus epidemic. Since the government is still in the midst of neglecting to declare a humanitarian crisis, it is difficult for Venezuela to obtain humanitarian aid.
In working with Action for Solidarity, we have found a way to directly help the medical crisis in Venezuela. Thank you for joining this online campaign to help a country in urgent need of assistance, and to those who came to the charity concert on June 6th, 6:30pm at Christ Church Cathedral. Thank you all! Please spread the word and remember to donate to help the Venezuelan people!
WHAT: Charity concert for Venezuela
WHEN & WHERE: Christ Church Cathedral in Montreal on June 6th @ 6:30pm. Solo piano music of Schubert, Scriabin, Granados, Liszt, and Kapustin will be performed. Suggested donation $10