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Venezuela has been in a deep political and humanitarian crisis since 2015. In what was once the richest country in South America, 80% of the population are now poor. The rate of inflation is the highest in the world. Thanks to years of mismanagement, people can no longer meet their basic needs, malnutrition is high, health care is in a disastrous state. This has led to the greatest wave of migration in the history of Latin America. According to UNHCR figures (February 2021), more than 5.4 Venezuelans have already left their country. Colombia has hosted the majority of the refugees, with more than 1.7 million, followed by Peru (1,040,000), Chile (450,000), Ecuador (415,000), Brazil (260,000) and Argentina (180,000).
The migration wave is overburdening the institutional and financial capacity of the host countries. The living conditions of the refugees are very difficult. The hospitals along the refugee routes are overburdened, refugee shelters, where they exist, are overcrowded. There is a lack of sanitation and cooking facilities. Tens of thousands of migrants have no accommodation and no income. Moreover, the Covid-19 pandemic and the strict lockdowns in the host countries have hit the refugees very hard, so that in addition to the health risks, they have lost what little they had managed to build up.
The regional project contributes to improving the living conditions of vulnerable people in Venezuela, Colombia, Brazil, Bolivia and Peru. Critical humanitarian supply gaps are filled and the integration of vulnerable Venezuelans in the host countries is supported; in Colombia, help is also provided to internally displaced people. Women, children, indigenous population groups, people with disabilities and older people in particular are target groups of the project activities. In Venezuela, activities focus on campaigns to inform people about the conditions of migration and the risks involved in flight. Meeting basic needs in the most critical areas of access to water and food security are also central concerns in Venezuela.
In order to improve the self-sufficiency of the beneficiaries and secure basic needs, goods are distributed to meet essential human needs, and access to facilities that provide support is made possible (e.g. refugee shelters). The goods include health products, food parcels and prepared meals, kitchen sets as well as blankets and mattresses. To improve their protection, migrants are given information about sexual exploitation and illegal employment and are supported in applying for asylum or demanding humanitarian services. They also receive psychosocial support and access to legal services. Local institutions are trained in providing these services. Finally, the awareness of the local population is raised to combat xenophobia.
The regional project is located in the thematic fields of ‘Migration’ and ‘Humanitarian Aid’ and focuses on protection as well as on meeting basic needs. This includes, among other things, access to food and water, accommodation, legal advice, psychosocial support as well as information about migration routes. The project works according to the sector principle of humanitarian aid and is embedded in the regionally coordinated support programme of the United Nations.
Migration, Humanitarian Aid
01.06.2021 – 30.09.2022
Venezuela (Zulia), Colombia (La Guajira, Bogotá), Bolivia (La Paz, Santa Cruz, Cochabamba); Brazil (Distrito Federal, Paraná, Pernambuco, Rondônia, Roraima, Santa Catarina, São Paulo, Acre, Amazonas); Peru (Puno, Desaguadero)
55,400 people, particularly women, children, indigenous people, people with a disability, older people and internally displaced people as well as deprived people in the host communities.