As a result of the prolonged conflict and political corruption in Venezuela, the country's public health care system is collapsing. There is a shortage of vaccinations and medical supplies in many health care facilities.

Parents must choose between feeding their children or getting them vaccinated against diseases such as tuberculosis and polio. COVID-19 has only caused health disparities to increase, leaving more families desperate to find medical attention.

The situation that plagues Venezuela is devastating, but it demonstrates why it is so important to hold governments, at any level, accountable, especially regarding health care. Venezuela currently has an $11 million debt and faces a mounting health care crisis.

The United States needs to demand more accountability from the Venezuelan government. Throughout this tumultuous period, we continually provided humanitarian relief to Venezuelan citizens, including funds for primary health care; however, since 2015, Venezuela has not produced vaccination rates for its population.

Moving forward, we need confirmation that our monetary contributions fulfill the proper purpose. We need tangible statistics showing an increase in the percentage of Venezuelans receiving adequate health care. The United States must also apply the same accountability standards to other U.S.-funded health programs.

Recently, Rep. Hal Rogers demonstrated his support for holding the United States and other international neighbors accountable for their actions. Now, it is his and the other serving members of the State, Foreign Operations and Relate Programs subcommittee of the Appropriations Committee's responsibility to advocate for more transparency regarding the allocation of the United States' foreign relief funds.

Alexandria Jent


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