The European Union will spend more than $40 million to help Venezuelans suffering through a deepening humanitarian crisis even as the country's leaders have steadfastly denied it needs any foreign assistance.
Most of the money will provide health care, food and clean water to vulnerable Venezuelans living inside and outside of the country, European Commission officials said Thursday.
European leaders, meanwhile, have threatened a new round of sanctions against Venezuela's top officials, after what it considers President Nicolas Maduro's undemocratic re-election.
Venezuela was once one of Latin America's wealthiest countries, sitting atop the world's largest oil reserves. Mismanagement and a drop in global oil prices have left it in a deepening economic and political crisis, marked by shortages of food and medicine and mass migration.
Maduro won a second, six-year term May 20, which his closest rival has challenged in Venezuela's supreme court as deeply flawed with illegal tactics. Venezuela's leading opposition parties boycotted the election as fraudulent.
The United States, European Union and several of Venezuela's neighbors in Latin America have rejected Maduro's election as illegitimate.
Humanitarian groups in the past have raised concern that Venezuelan officials would use international assistance as political tool instead of sending it to communities where it is needed.