VENEZUELA HUMANITARIAN CRISIS

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4.5 

million Venezuelans have left the country since 2014. This is the largest exodus in Latin America’s recent history and one of the largest displacement crises in the world.

2000%

increase in the number of Venezuelan seeking asylum worldwide. 650,000 have filed asylum claims and about 2 million have obtained resident permits to stay in the Americas.

12% 

of the population has fled the country and people continue to leave at an average of 5,000 per day. These figures are comparable to the Syrian refugee crisis. 

 About the Crisis in Venezuela

Venezuela, a country that has traditionally been a generous host to refugees, is now facing its own displacement crisis.

Rampant violence, inflation, gang-warfare, soaring crime rates as well as shortages of food, medicine and essential services have forced millions to seek refuge in neighboring countries and beyond. An estimated 5,000 people are leaving Venezuela every day. While more than 650,000 have filed asylum claims, the majority of Venezuelans remain without any documentation to stay regularly in nearby countries, and therefore lack guaranteed access to basic rights. The situation for Venezuelans on the move is dire. They are exposed to heightened risks of exploitation, trafficking, violence, discrimination and xenophobia. 

Colombia and other countries in the region have been generously hosting Venezuelans, but its capacity to provide basic services have become increasingly strained.

VIDEO

Venezuelans make perilous journey in search of safety

What is UNHCR doing to help Venezuelans?

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, has joined over 90 partners to establish a Regional Response Plan for Refugees and Migrants (RMRP) with the goal of ensuring a coherent and coordinated operational response to the needs of refugees and migrants from Venezuela.

In close collaboration with host governments, partner organizations, civil society, faith-based organizations and UN agencies (in particular IOM), UNHCR undertakes the following activities:

  • Direct humanitarian assistance to meet basic needs, including temporary shelters, cash-based interventions, health assistance and education.
  • Protection interventions for unaccompanied and separated children, indigenous communities, the elderly, sexual and gender-based violence survivors (SGBV), LGBTI community, people with disabilities and other vulnerable populations with specific needs. 
  • Campaigns against xenophobia.
  • Safe and dignified reception conditions and advocacy for legal stay.
  • Support of government registration, profiling and protection monitoring.
  • Research to understand the specific needs of Venezuelans across the region.

Learn more about What We Do.

Stories from the Venezuelan Crisis

Venezuela Crisis Explained

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How can we hope for peace if children can’t access education?

See all stories about the Venezuelan crisis >

Camps and Settlements for Venezuelans

Indigenous Wayuu family from Venezuela outside their shelter at an assistance center in Maicao, Colombia.

  • Venezuelans are most commonly seeking asylum in Colombia, Peru, Chile, Brazil, Mexico, Panama and the United States.
  • Colombia currently hosts the largest number of Venezuelans.
  • Those who enter Ecuador continue onwards to Peru and Chile, but up to 20 percent remain in the country.
  • In Boa Vista and Pacaraima, Brazil, 13 temporary shelters in border cities host more than 6,000 Venezuelans. 
  • In Maicao, Colombia, a reception center opened in March 2019 with an initial capacity to host 350 people. The center provides temporary access to shelter, food, water and basic medical care to vulnerable Venezuelans. Emergency shelters in Costa Rica, Peru and Ecuador have also received significant support.

Inside UNHCR’s COVID-19 Response: Protecting refugees during this health emergency.  LEARN MORE >>

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