Two Venezuelan children are among hundreds living in Simon Bolivar Square in Boa Vista, northern Brazil. © UNHCR/ Reynesson Damasceno
Young Venezuelan girl waits for a meal at Simon Bolivar Square in Boa Vista, northern Brazil. © UNHCR/ Reynesson Damasceno
UNHCR workers help Venezuelan families settle in at the Jardim Floresta shelter, in Boa Vista, Brazil. © UNHCR/Reynesson Damasceno
Working with the Brazilian government and partners, the UN Refugee Agency is ramping up the humanitarian response for the growing number of Venezuelans arriving in the north of the country with increasing needs.
According to the Brazilian government’s latest estimates, more than 800 Venezuelans are entering Brazil each day. More than 52,000 Venezuelans have arrived in Brazil since the beginning of 2017.
With numbers growing, public services such as health care and sanitation are becoming stretched. Authorities recently declared a state of emergency and have allocated approximately $58 million for emergency humanitarian assistance for people coming from Venezuela.
UNHCR has been working closely with the Brazilian government to register Venezuelans and ensure all arrivals have proper documentation. Once documented, Venezuelan asylum-seekers, as well as those with special stay permits, have the right to work and access health, education and other basic services.
UNHCR and the Brazilian authorities are increasingly concerned by the growing risks faced by Venezuelans living on the streets, including sexual exploitation and violence.
To meet shelter needs and mitigate these risks, two new shelters have been opened in the last two weeks. The new shelters can house 500 people each, and are nearly at capacity. Priority is given to families with children, pregnant women, elderly people and others with specific needs.
UNHCR is managing the new shelters, and our staff are doing biometric registration and issuing identification cards for food and aid distributions there.
UNHCR is grateful to the actions of the Brazilian government, including in keeping its borders open to Venezuelans and ensuring that all refugees and asylum-seekers in Brazil have access to basic rights and services.
Here is how you can help
Venezuelan families forced to flee need your help. The UN Refugee Agency is on the ground responding but we need your help to reach more vulnerable people. You can provide shelter, protection and safety. Please make your gift today.
Original reporting by UNHCR.
Apr 18 2018