HOUSTON, March 6, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Simón Bolívar Foundation Inc., the 501(c)(3) nonprofit private foundation of CITGO Petroleum Corporation awarded charitable grants to five qualified organizations through two of its programs, Small Grant Program and Medium/Large Humanitarian Health Grant Program, to assist Venezuelan and other migrants in Latin America and the United States. This initiative was made possible thanks to an additional donation from CITGO Petroleum Corporation in 2022 to support this growing crisis.

The demand for assistance continues to grow as the migratory flows maintain a steady increase. The United Nations (UN) estimates the number of Venezuelan migrants and refugees worldwide at 7.1 million, making it one of the world's largest external displacement crises. The number of migrants arriving to the U.S. from Cuba, Venezuela, Colombia and Nicaragua has increased significantly since January 2021. People from these four nations account for most encounters at ports of entry along the southwest U.S. border along with migrants from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.1

The numbers in Latin America continue to steadily increase.  In Panama, according to the latest official data from January to December 2022, 248,000 people have crossed the Darien gap, an increase of 85% in comparison to the same period in 2021. During 2022 in Honduras, 189,000 migrants entered the country, an increase of 1059% in comparison with 2021.2

Migrant Program:

These migrants on the move face extreme conditions and require significant assistance, including those with health issues. To provide immediate action to address the large-scale increase in the migration flows in Latin America and the U.S., as well as the upsurge in critical assistance and protection needs, the Foundation is supporting the following organizations with two projects within the Medium/Large Humanitarian Health Grants – Migrants Program:

International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) Program: Improving access to health services for people on the move in Mexico and Central America

The IFRC received a $250,213 grant to 1) enhance community health services for people on the move through humanitarian diplomacy actions and humanitarian service points, 2) provide fixed and mobile units that deliver humanitarian assistance along the migratory routes, including primary healthcare, 3) provide mental health and psychosocial support, and 4) provide protection for people in Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico.  An estimated 11,675 individuals will benefit from the program, with 6,175 people in Honduras, 3,500 people in Guatemala and 2,000 people in Mexico.

GlobalGiving Program: Grants for Venezuelan and other migrant support

GlobalGiving received a $150,000 grant to support programs in the U.S. and Latin America that provide relief to Venezuelan and other migrants in need. The program will focus on health needs, including medical attention, meals, psychosocial support, and basic needs.

"The journey made by courageous Venezuelans is a difficult one, to say the least. At GlobalGiving we are grateful to partner with incredible community led organizations to help families seeking refuge and safety, with the support of the Simón Bolívar Foundation." – GlobalGiving Vice President of Growth, Kristina Joss

Three Charitable Organizations Through the Hoy Invita Simon 2 Program:

To provide support to migrants in the U.S., the Foundation has relaunched Hoy Invita Simon, as part of the Small Grant program, an initiative that started in 2020, where meals and food bags are provided to migrants in need in different cities. As part of this program, the Foundation has awarded a total of $165,030 to three charitable organizations that will provide support to an estimated 4,145 people in need in Miami, New York and Houston.

Please visit simonbolivarfoundation.org for more information.

About The Simón Bolívar Foundation
Simón Bolívar Foundation Inc. is the 501(c)(3) nonprofit, private foundation of CITGO Petroleum Corporation. The Foundation supports charitable initiatives, leverages existing resources, and provides charitable grants to qualified organizations to meet the immediate and long-term health needs of the most vulnerable individuals, particularly in and from Venezuela, with a special focus on the health and well-being of children and their mothers.

1 The United Nations (2022, October 12). Venezuela Humanitarian Crisis. The UN Refugee Agency. Retrieved January 22, 2023, from https://www.unrefugees.org/emergencies/venezuela/.
2 DTM de la OIM.  Costa Rica - Panamá: Monitoreo de flujo de personas en situación de movilidad a través de las Américas #6 (mayo 2022).

SOURCE CITGO Corporation