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Refugees and migrants from Venezuela top 4 million

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Refugees and migrants from Venezuela top 4 million

6 July 2019 Also available in:
A mother with her child crosses the Simon Bolivar Bridge, one of 7 legal entry points on the Colombia-Venezuela border, the largest entry point with over 30,000 people crossing into Colombia on a daily basis. ; The Simon Bolivar Bridge, one of 7 legal entry points between Venezuela and Colombia, is the largest entry point with over 30,000 people crossing the bridge on a daily basis. Of the 30,000, approximately 5,000 are looking for a new home and planning to stay in Colombia or transit through Colombia to another country like Ecuador or Peru. The others are visiting Colombia to get essential items and will then make the journey back to Venezuela. The on-going political and socio-economic developments in Venezuela have led to the outflow of an estimated 3 million Venezuelans into neighbouring countries and beyond. While some of them have obtained documentation which allows them to stay legally, the majority of Venezuelans who have left their country have no regular status, and are therefore more vulnerable to any form of exploitation, abuse, violence, trafficking and discrimination. While the responses of States have been generous, local host communities are facing mounting pressure in responding to their needs. The number of Venezuelans seeking asylum has risen yearly.

Globally, Venezuelans are one of the single largest population groups displaced from their country. The number of Venezuelans leaving their country has reached four million, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and IOM, the International Organization for Migration, announced on 7 June.

From some 695,000 at the end of 2015, the number of refugees and migrants from Venezuela had skyrocketed to over four million by mid-2019, according to data from national immigration authorities and other sources. The pace of the outflow from Venezuela has been staggering.

Latin American countries are hosting the vast majority of Venezuelans. Mexico and countries in Central America and the Caribbean are also hosting significant numbers of refugees and migrants from Venezuela.

Colombia 1.3 million
Peru 768,000
Chile 288,000
Ecuador 263,000
Brazil 168,000
Argentina 130,000


“These alarming figures highlight the urgent need to support host communities in the receiving countries,” said Eduardo Stein, joint UNHCR-IOM Special Representative for Venezuelan refugees and migrants. “Latin American and Caribbean countries are doing their part to respond to this unprecedented crisis but they cannot be expected to continue doing it without international help.”

Governments in the region have established mechanisms for coordinating their response and facilitating the legal, social and economic inclusion of Venezuelan citizens. Chief among them is the Quito Process, which has brought together Latin American countries affected by the outflow of Venezuelan refugees and migrants. To complement these efforts, a humanitarian Regional Refugee and Migrant Response Plan (RMRP) was launched in December 2018, targeting 2.2 million Venezuelans and 580,000 people in host communities in 16 countries. So far, the RMRP is only 21 percent funded. Please donate today, millions of people urgently need your help



The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) was established on 14 December 1950 by the United Nations General Assembly. The agency is mandated to lead and coordinate international action to protect refugees and resolve refugee issues. It strives to ensure that everyone has the right to seek asylum and find safe refuge in another state, with the option to voluntarily return home when conditions are conducive for return, integrate locally or resettle to a third country. UNHCR has twice won the Nobel Peace Prize, in 1954 for its ground-breaking work in helping the refugees of Europe, and in 1981 for its worldwide assistance to refugees.