The United States Agency for International Development says it has made available US$1.6 million to the people of Trinidad and Tobago to assist Venezuelans fleeing their homeland.

Representatives from USAID, the Government of Trinidad and Tobago, the U.S. Embassy, Trinidadian and Venezuelan civil society met in Port of Spain March 13- 15, to determine how the U.S. can assist in managing the impacts of the political and humanitarian crisis in Venezuela.

It was decided that programs using the funds will begin by September, and will focus on strengthening community resilience and capacity to address the recent influx of Venezuelan refugees and migrants to this country.

In a media release the Agency said funds will not be distributed directly to persons in need, but will be used to assist the people of T&T as they assist the people of Venezuela.

Over the past two years, the United States has given or allocated more than US$150 million in assistance to help countries in the region manage the impacts of the political and humanitarian crisis in Venezuela.