NRC works in Venezuela providing legal assistance to population in need of international protection to know their rights.

Context: During the refugee status determination process, people in need of international protection without identification could be deported to Colombia, where they fled from because armed conflict. Movility, access to food or work restrictions increased during the first period of time in Venezuela.

Estado de Barinas - Venezuela
Photo: Fernanda Pineda - NRC
Read caption Legal counselling in Estado de Barinas. Photo: Fernanda Pineda/NRC

NRC in Venezuela

Venezuela is in the midst of an economic, institutional and social crisis that has displaced millions of its inhabitants.


A total of


people in need received our assistance in 2019.

Humanitarian overview

The Venezuelan displacement crisis has continued to grow during the first half of 2019.

According to UNHCR and OIM, based on conservative government figures, it is estimated that the number of Venezuelans in countries across Latin America rose from 700,000 in 2015 to over 4,3 million in September 2019.

Venezuelans arriving in neighbouring countries face serious barriers as they seek to rebuild their lives and integrate into new communities. One of the most crucial challenges they face is obtaining some form of status that allows them to get a job, send their children to school, and access important services like healthcare.

The arrival of Venezuelans in Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru is overwhelming the local capacity to respond. New visa requirements in Ecuador and Peru will make crossing legally impossible for many and will lead to many being forced to informal border crossings with high risks of trafficking, gender-based sexual violence, extortion and other forms of violence.

40 per cent of the Regional Refugee and Migrant Response Plan has been funded, as of October 2019.

People we helped in Venezuela in 2019

people benefited from our education programme
people benefited from our food security programme
people benefited from our shelter programme
people benefited from our ICLA programme

NRC’s operation

To respond to the scale of the crisis, NRC is implementing a multi-country (Colombia-Panamá-Ecuador-Brazil) action plan that articulates the response according to the humanitarian and protection needs of Venezuelans.


NRC EducationEducation

We help displaced families keep their children in school, and work with youth and adults so they can complete their education. Our teams:

  • conduct censuses in municipalities to identity out-of-school children
  • give technical support to educational authorities to provide alternative education programmes for those out of school
  • support schools, increasing their capacity to meet the needs of out-of-school children
  • implement our school feeding programme
  • distribute learning and sports equipment, so that children can continue to learn and play
  • upgrade school infrastructure
  • train teachers in how to best teach and support their students

NRC Information, counselling and legal assistance (ICLA)Information, counselling and legal assistance (ICLA)

We improve access to registration procedures and legal humanitarian assistance. Our ICLA teams:

  • assist people with access to essential services (e.g. access to health services)
  • provide legal services to Colombian returnees to access to basic rights
  • help people in need of international protection to receive official recognition as refugees or get access to other forms of legal stay
  • provide multi-purpose cash transfers

NRC Shelter and settlementsShelter and settlements

Access to shelter is essential for one’s dignity, privacy, health, and physical and social protection. Our shelter and settlements teams provide access to adequate shelter solutions for affected people. Our shelter teams provide:

  • temporary shelter solutions through cash for rent
  • transitional shelters for vulnerable families through complete shelter construction or cash for a housing upgrade
  • shelter kits, hygiene kits, and dignity kits for vulnerable families, thereby increasing and promoting safe hygiene practices
  • alternative temporary shelter solutions, while completing their migration process
  • multipurpose protective and collective shelters

NRC Information, counselling and legal assistance (ICLA)Camp management

NRC has submitted a proposal to UNHCR in Brazil for camp management, targeting Venezuelans in the border state of Roraima. Our teams:

  • assume the role of camp manager, carrying out core camp management functions in this setting
  • provide operational support or capacity building
  • facilitate the registration process

Emergency response

We provide direct emergency assistance. The assistance and protection of those who are particularly vulnerable are at the centre of the emergency response. Our teams provide:

  • food and temporary shelters
  • NFI packages which include sets of hygiene items, including for women and girls, and other basic utensils for daily needs
  • kits for those who walk long distances (including water and clothing suitable for the cold weather)

NRC Venezuela is grateful for the generous support from our donors:
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway (NMFA)
  • FORD Foundation
  • Dubai Cares
  • Bureau of Population Refugees and Migration (BPRM)
  • European Commission Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (ECHO)
  • UN refugee agency (UNHCR)
  • Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)
  • Sweden International Development Agency (SIDA)
  • United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)
  • International Organization for Migration (OIM)

About NRC in Venezuela

International staff
Areas of operation
Capital District, Miranda, Bolivar, Apure, Portuguesa, Barinas, Merida, Tachira y Zulia.
Budget 2019
USD 7.75 million
National staff

NRC in Venezuela

Country Director

Giovanni Rizzo


+58  212 263 2113 / +58 4247306704