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The economy of Roraima and the Venezuelan flow: Evidence and subsidies for public policies


The Brazilian state of Roraima is at the forefront of the country's efforts to manage the influx of Venezuelan refugees and migrants that started in 2013. Between 2013 and 2019, over 260,000 Venezuelans have applied for refugee or residency status in Brazil, with the vast majority entering through Roraima. The state is receiving help from federal authorities, UNHCR and civil society partners in managing its response to the influx and providing humanitarian assistance to the arrivals. A major initiative, the Interiorizacao voluntary relocation programme, has relocated more than 25,000 Venezuelans from Roraima to other Brazilian cities where there are more opportunities for social and economic integration.

Driven by the need for data-backed analysis to inform interventions and the overall debate on the influx's impact on Roraima's society and economy, researchers – from Brazil's Department of Public Policy Analysis of Fundação Getulio Vargas (FGV DAPP), the International Migration Observatory (OBMigra) and the Federal University of Roraima (UFRR) – analysed official socioeconomic data and interviewed key actors managing the state's economy and its response to the inflow. They found that Roraima registered positive economic growth and diversification during the period of intense Venezuelan flow. Unemployment and poverty, on the other hand, rose during this time. This and other main findings and recommendations of their study are presented in this summary.