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Amid rising needs, partners seek US$1.79bn for Venezuelan refugees and migrants

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Amid rising needs, partners seek US$1.79bn for Venezuelan refugees and migrants

Joint UNHCR/IOM Press release
9 December 2021
Colombia. UNHCR meets with refugee women to recognize and prevent gender based violence
A group of Venezuelan refugee women living at the Bello Oriente informal settlement in Medellín, Colombia, pictured in March 2021.

Geneva – UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) are launching today a US$1.79 billion regional plan to support the increasing needs of refugees and migrants from Venezuela and their host communities across 17 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The number of refugees and migrants from Venezuela worldwide has now topped 6 million, with the vast majority hosted by countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. Most have been displaced for many years outside Venezuela.

Several host countries have established innovative protection and regularization mechanisms to help them access rights and services. However, as this situation prolongs over time, the vulnerabilities and risks that Venezuelans face, as well as the needs of their host communities, have dramatically increased.   

“Steadfast support from the international community remains crucial to address the most urgent needs of refugees and migrants, and to help host countries ensure their socio-economic integration,” said Eduardo Stein, Joint Special Representative of UNHCR and IOM for Refugees and Migrants from Venezuela. “Those who have left Venezuela are ready to contribute and give back to the communities that have welcomed them.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has worsened the living conditions of the most vulnerable across the region, including refugees and migrants. Growing unemployment and poverty, constraints in accessing education and basic services, as well as serious protection risks arising from their lack of regular status have left many in despair and contributed to onward movements in search of better opportunities.

With land borders largely closed across the region in an effort to contain the spread of COVID-19, Venezuelans have resorted to using informal routes – often on foot – exposing themselves to grave dangers, such as extreme climate conditions, natural hazards, threats from human traffickers or exploitation and abuse by smugglers. In the meantime, outflows from Venezuela persist.

The 2022 Refugee and Migrant Response Plan (RMRP) is being launched today to respond to those urgent needs while supporting longer-term solutions that will allow Venezuelans to resume their lives.

The RMRP aims to further strengthen the national and regional responses, by supporting critical humanitarian services, including health, shelter, food, water, sanitation and hygiene interventions in host countries. In parallel, the RMRP focuses on longer-term integration for those having spent multiple years in host communities and promoting development support to host countries so as to ensure access to education, protection, regularization, the labour market as well as national health and social welfare programs.

“Ongoing regularization efforts are a gesture of solidarity and will require a significant financial investment to succeed,” said Stein. “Greater commitment and more concerted efforts are needed to ensure no-one is left behind.”

This year’s response plan brings together 192 partner organizations involved in the response, including United Nations agencies, international and national non-governmental organizations, civil society, and refugee-led, migrant-led and community-based organizations.

Notes to editors:

The RMRP is the result of a field-driven planning, bringing together 192 appealing organizations, in consultation with host governments, civil society and faith-based organizations, local communities, donors, as well as the refugees and migrants themselves. This year it also incorporates the response of some 23 refugee-led, migrant-led and community-based organizations with the aim to involve affected populations at each stage of the response. The RMRP is implemented in the framework of the Interagency Coordination Platform R4V in 17 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean including Argentina, Aruba, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Curacao, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guyana, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Perú, Trinidad Tobago and Uruguay.


In Panama,

In Geneva,