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Edificio Centro Valores, local 2, Esquina de la Luneta, Caracas, Venezuela.

UNICEF Migration flows in Latin America and the Caribbean Situation

Foto: Archivo Web


  • In october 2018, the number of refugees and migrants from Venezuela worldwide reached three million, at least 2.4 million of them are hosted by countries in Latin America and the Caribbean region.
  • UNICEF estimates that the number of children in need has surpassed 460,000, taking into consideration the needs of migrant children, non-Venezuelan returnees and those living in host communities where services are struggling to fulfil the increasing demands.
  • The Government of Ecuador signed a new protocol for the protection of uprooted children, including those arriving from Venezuela. UNICEF has advocated for this Protocol and provides technical assistance for its implementation.
  • In Brazil, at least 3,000 Venezuelans, nearly 30 per cent of them children, have been relocated from border areas in the north to other cities as part of the authorities’ plan to support integration. Through UNICEF’s efforts 11 child-friendly spaces are currently functional.
  • Water and sanitation services supported by UNICEF, are benefiting close to 5,400 girls and boys across priority locations in Colombia. Work is ongoing to improve the sanitation infrastructure of the main border sites and migrants’ centers.
  • In Panama, UNICEF is leading advocacy efforts for the approval and implementation of a national child protection protocol for children in need of international protection.
  • At the child friendly space implemented by UNICEF at the main border crossing site in Peru, nearly 3,500 children have received psychosocial support and migrant families receive psychological counselling.
  • In Guyana, to address the Government’s needs for improved Information Management capacity, UNICEF is providing surge capacity through MapAction-UK. Through partners, UNICEF supports household water treatment and storage in 12 indigenous communities, benefiting 1,500 families.
  • In Trinidad and Tobago, while preparations are ongoing for the roll-out of child-friendly spaces (CFS) to increase coverage of education, nutrition and psychosocial support, 33 stakeholders have been trained on CFS operation.

Situation in numbers

3 million
No. of Venezuelans living abroad, including:

2.4 million
No. of Venezuelans in countries within Latin America and the Caribbean
(Source: IOM/UNHCR, Nov 2018)

Approx. No. of children in need of assistance as a consequence of the crisis in Colombia, Brazil, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, Ecuador, Peru and Panama.
(Preliminary estimations at transit/receiving country level.)

UNICEF Appeal 2018
US$ 28,050,000

Situation Overview & Needs

Countries in Latin America and the Caribbean are now hosting at least 2.4 million Venezuelan refugees and migrants, from a total of around 3 million Venezuelans migrating worldwide, as reported by UNHCR and IOM. Colombia hosts the largest number of refugees and migrants at over one million, while half a million are in Peru, Ecuador hosts over 220,000, Argentina 130,000, Chile over 100,000, and Brazil 85,000. UNICEF estimates that over 460,000 children are in need of assistance in Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Panama, Peru and Trinidad and Tobago. Not only Venezuelan children on the move are in need of support, other non-Venezuelans returning to their countries of origin (mainly Colombia or Guyana) as well as children living in host communities where basic services are overstretched (mainly Colombia and Guyana), are also in need of protection and access to services.

Governments in the region have put in place measures to handle the situation, providing humanitarian assistance and shelter for the most vulnerable while investing efforts in finding ways to give legal status to Venezuelan migrants. Nevertheless, as the migration flows remain high, the capacities of hosting countries are being stretched to their limits. Furthermore, the mid/long term impacts of this crisis-yet to be determined-will demand significant resources and adaptation of policies at all levels.

In this regard, UNICEF welcomes the adoption of a new protocol to protect uprooted children in Ecuador, including those arriving from Venezuela. As stated by Maria Cristina Perceval, UNICEF Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean. “We hope that this Protocol can inspire other governments in the region to guarantee the rights of migrant children, according to the best interest of the child and the principle of extraterritoriality and transnationality of human rights.” UNICEF continues advocating at all levels to promote that children’s rights are at the core of the response.

Fuente: Relief Web 

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