Panama offers its "humanitarian hub" to send food and medicines to Venezuela

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  • Fri, 02/15/2019 - 16:16
Panama offers its "humanitarian hub" to send food and medicines to Venezuela
  • EFE

The Panamanian Government reported on Friday that it offered to collaborate in the plan to send food and medicine to Venezuela and made its distribution center for humanitarian aid available to the international community.

At a conference on the humanitarian crisis at the headquarters of the Organization of American States (OAS) in Washington, the Minister of Health, Miguel Mayo, explained that "before the saturation of the channels for the sending of aid to the brother South American country" the Regional Logistics Center for Humanitarian Assistance is "necessary".

"The Regional Logistic Center of Humanitarian Assistance of Panama has the necessary equipment to preserve the cold chain of vaccines and other supplies that will be destined to Venezuela by the international community", said Mayo.

For his part, the Panamanian Minister of Public Security, Jonattan Del Rosario, highlighted the commitment of the Government of Panama "to put its platform of services and connectivity at the service of the international community to promote the welfare, peace and security of the region and the world".

Panama inaugurated in November the so-called "humanitarian hub", which is the first of its kind in the Americas and has a storage capacity of 12,000 square meters.

The center, designed to assist humanitarian catastrophes in the region, is managed by two international agencies: the United Nations Humanitarian Response Depot (UNHRD) and the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent.

The other global humanitarian distribution centers are located in Dubai (United Arab Emirates), Canary Islands (Spain), Brindisi (Italy) and Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia).

Venezuela has been plunged into an economic crisis for years, with hyperinflation and a large shortage of food and medicine.

Since he was proclaimed interim president on January 23, the young opposition Juan Guaidó has given priority to the entry of humanitarian support convoys in the country, despite the refusal of the president, Nicolás Maduro, who considers that such assistance hides a plan for a military invasion.

So far, the Venezuelan opposition has announced three collection points for humanitarian aid, partly arriving from the United States: one in the Colombian city of Cúcuta, another in the Brazilian state of Roraima -both border with Venezuela- and a third in the Caribbean island of Curaçao.

Guiadó has said that medical supplies stored in Cúcuta will enter his country on February 23 with the support of volunteers, the Catholic Church and several NGOs.

The Panamanian government reported Friday that "as a result of this International Conference a group of countries including Germany, the United States, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom committed to send nearly 100 million in humanitarian aid to Venezuela mainly across the borders of that country with Colombia and Brazil, from next February 23".



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