New resources to save lives and to reduce suffering of people affected by the Venezuelan crisis

Published 27. May 2020
Over 700 million euros raised today prove the commitment of governments and donors to respond to Venezuela’s refugee and migrant crisis.

The increase of funding announced by governments and donors, during the Pledging Conference represents approximately 50% of the requested regional budget to address the crisis. This fundraising effort is an essential step to provide aid to over five million refugees and migrants from Venezuela who are in the countries of the region in the middle of the coronavirus crisis, explained seven humanitarian organizations that are members of the “Civil society coalition for the defence of the rights of refugees, migrants and displaced people in Latin America and the Caribbean (Coalición LAC RMD)”.

“We expect that these new resources will timely and effectively reach the most vulnerable people. Millions of Venezuelan refugees and migrants are living a crisis within a crisis because they have been marginalized from the coronavirus responses and are living under conditions of overcrowding, without access to health, to extraordinary bonus or emergency subsidies for unemployment”, asserts Asier Hernando Malax-Echevarría, Oxfam’s deputy director for Latin America and the Caribbean.

“Given the harshness of this pandemic, close to 50.000 Venezuelan migrants have returned-- many have walked through the borders between Colombia and Venezuela. The new resources pledged should reach the people with the greatest needs to alleviate their suffering. Thousands have lost their jobs, do not have enough money for food, medicines nor a rent”, explains Dominika Arseniuk, country director of the Norwegian Refugee Council in Colombia.

It is vital that the new funding of donors and generous governments is expeditiously allocated through organizations that have local presence and to people with greatest needs. This call was made by 29 civil society organizations and networks, which also highlighted the need of guaranteeing civil society participation in inter-agency coordination mechanisms and of improving dialogue between organizations.

The result of this Conference represents a renew opportunity for thousands of Venezuelan migrants who remain without any type of documentation or legal status among the countries of the region. Many of them don’t have any access to basic services or guarantees of their fundamental rights such as education or dignified work. Sustainable aid is vital to support migrants, particularly women, girls and boys, who are exposed to risks such as sexual and labour exploitation, human trafficking, violence and xenophobia.

Signatory organizations:

Consejo Noruego para Refugiados – NRC
Plan International
Save the Children
World Vision International

Notes to editors:

Currently there is 5,095,283 refugees and migrants from Venezuela in the countries of the region. By the end of 2019, there were 1,771,237 in Colombia.

According to the World Health Organization (May 22th 2020), the four countries in the region with the biggest number of Venezuelan refugees and migrants reported the following epidemiologic situation: Brazil: 271,628 confirmed cases and 7,971 deaths; Peru: 99,483 confirmed cases and 2,914 deaths; Ecuador: 34,151 confirmed cases and 2,839 deaths; y Colombia: 16,935 confirmed cases and 640 deaths.

Care, HIAS, IPPF/RHO, the Norwegian Refugee Council - NRC, Plan International, Oxfam, Save the Children y World Vision International, and IFRC are members of the “Civil society coalition for the defence of the rights of Refugees, Migrants and Displaced People in Latin America and the Caribbean” (Coalition LAC RMD). These organisations have humanitarian programmes for migrants and displaced people, victims of armed conflicts and host communities in Venezuela, border areas and places of difficult access in Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.

Contact for media:

Carlos Eduardo García in Bogota, Colombia | | +57 3507846084

Marcela Olarte Acosta in Bogota, Colombia | | +57 320 8572738

For further information, please follow @Oxfam y @Oxfam_es