“No Food. No Medicine…People are Dying…”
“Children die of malnutrition and lack of medical attention,” says Esmerelda, holding her 2-year-old son tightly. “There is no food, no medication.” She is describing Venezuela, the homeland she fled two years ago. Esmerelda is one of an estimated 2.6 million people who have left Venezuela since 2014; more than 1.1 million have arrived in Colombia. To provide care and ease the burden on Colombian health facilities, Americares opened four primary care clinics in towns near the border or where Venezuelans have settled. Most of the patients at the clinics are Venezuelans, though the clinics are open to anyone who lacks a national identification card, Colombians included. “I am very grateful to Americares because they have given me medical attention and have provided me with medicine,” says Esmerelda, who recently learned she is pregnant.