September 23, 2019 / 9:38 PM / a month ago

Britain promises 30 million pounds for medicine, clean water in Venezuela

FILE PHOTO: Newly appointed Britain's Secretary of State for International Development Alok Sharma is seen outside Downing Street in London, Britain July 25, 2019. REUTERS/Hannah McKay

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Britain will provide up to 30 million pounds ($37.30 million) of funding to help aid organisations in Venezuela provide medicine and clean water, the government said on Monday.

The OPEC nation’s once-prosperous economy has collapsed under the stewardship of President Nicolas Maduro, fuelling a humanitarian crisis and shortages of food and medicine.

“The people of Venezuela are needlessly suffering as a direct result of Maduro’s refusal to accept the scale of his country’s worsening humanitarian crisis,” International Development Secretary Alok Sharma said in a statement.

The British money will also provide longer-term support to the neighbouring countries to which millions of Venezuelans have fled, the government said.

Sharma called on other countries to do more.

“Neighbouring countries have already shown immense generosity, and other donors must now step up or this crisis will deepen further,” Sharma said.

Reporting by Kylie MacLellan; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall

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