People on their journey through the Darién Gap. In 2021, more than 133,000 refugees and migrants crossed the Darién Gap, which marks the border between Colombia and Panama. Photo: Ingrid Prestetun/NRC.

Horrors in the Darién Gap should prompt more support for Venezuelans and other refugees and migrants

Published 01. Dec 2022
Statement by Adam Combs, the Norwegian Refugee Council’s regional director for Asia and Latin America on the launch of the regional appeal for Venezuelan refugees and migrants:

“Today's launch of the regional appeal is a strong reminder of the persistent displacement crisis that is impacting the whole of Latin America. The crisis is especially evident on the perilous route undertaken by refugees and migrants through the jungle of the Darién Gap in search of a better and safer future. The rapidly increasing numbers of men, women and children from Venezuela and other countries who take this route north must circumvent life-threatening dangers including harsh terrain, sexual assaults, and often deadly violence.

“The Central American countries and Mexico that receive the exhausted survivors from the Darién Gap are already stretched to breaking point with their own immense protection and displacement crises. We urge the international community to display much-needed solidarity, share responsibility and provide the commitment and long-term funding required to assist and protect the millions of displaced Venezuelans and other displacement-affected communities across the region.

“The people displaced from their homes in Latin America by poverty and violence must not be forgotten. This appeal is an opportunity to provide protection and hope for millions caught in a daily struggle for survival.”

Notes to editors:

  • Over 68,000 Venezuelans crossed the Darién between January and August 2022, a rate that is 2,400 per cent higher than in the whole of 2021 (R4V).
  • In 2023, the 228 R4V partners charged with implementing the RMRP require USD 1.71 billion to support the most vulnerable 3.41 million people, including refugees and migrants from Venezuela, as well as affected host communities in 17 countries throughout Latin America and the Caribbean (R4V).
  • The R4V 2022 Refugee and Migrant Response Plan, or RMRP, appealed for USD 1.79 billion, but just USD 490 million has been received so far (R4V).
  • More than 4 million refugees and migrants from Venezuela faced protection risks in 2022 across the region (Refugee and Migrant Needs Analysis, R4V).
  • The Darién Gap is a jungle that lies on the border between Colombia and Panama.

For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact: