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The United States is working with a group of countries to build a $10 billion fund to help Venezuela rebuild trade once a new government is in place, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Saturday. The United States has joined dozens of other countries in recognizing Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido as interim president but embattled President Nicolas Maduro remains in power.

Mnuchin said that, during the spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, officials had discussed how to aid in the Caribbean country's recovery. But those institutions must sit on the sidelines until there is clear international recognition of a government in Caracas and a way to put funds into use in the country which has seen its economy collapse, while people are fleeing because they cannot get basic food and medicines.

"Every single time I've had one of these meetings I can't believe how much worse it gets on the ground for the people of Venezuela. This is a humanitarian crisis," Mnuchin said.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2019

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