UN official warns of humanitarian "catastrophe" in Venezuela

A senior U.N. official says Colombia needs international help as it struggles with a humanitarian catastrophe along its border from Venezuelans driven from their homes by hunger.

David Beasley is director of the World Food Program and he made the comments after meeting with refugees during a visit to Cucuta in eastern Colombia.

He told The Associated Press in an interview that the harrowing reports he heard makes raising awareness of the humanitarian crisis an urgent priority.

He said he would work with Colombia on a plan to feed the 50,000 Venezuelans entering the country each day to eat, and solicit funding from the U.S. and other nations to assist the relief effort.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has characterized offers of humanitarian aid as an attempt to destabilize his rule.