Situation Overview IV: Venezuelan asylum seekers and migrants living outside of shelters, Boa Vista city (October 2018)
In early 2015, thousands of Venezuelans started fleeing their country of origin due to ongoing social, economic and political turmoil. An estimated 85,0001 Venezuelan asylum seekers and migrants are currently in Brazil, of which 25,0002 are located in the northern city of Boa Vista, capital of Roraima state which borders Venezuela. Throughout 2018 the rate of arrivals has increased, stretching the city’s capacity to ensure access to basic services. As Venezuelan populations continue to arrive in Roraima, there is a need for regularly updated, detailed information about their needs and vulnerabilities, particularly those populations living outside of shelters managed by humanitarian actors.
REACH, in support of the Office of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and other partners, is conducting regular area-based assessments to provide an evidence-base for humanitarian planning and response. This report presents the results of the fourth round of assessment conducted in Boa Vista and aims to provide an update on the vulnerabilities and priority needs of affected populations.
Venezuelan asylum seekers and migrants living in Boa Vista reported significant difficulties accessing livelihoods, due to a perceived distrust by host community members, a lack of employment opportunities and the language barrier. Women reportedly faced additional obstacles due to the lack of appropriate childcare facilities for their children.
Lack of access to rental housing continues to put pressure on Venezuelan households, and is compounded by the previously noted lack of employment opportunities. Increasingly, FGD participants reported that Venezuelans have been pushed to urban peripheries or into shelters managed by humanitarian actors due to their inability to meet landlord requirements.
Venezuelan women reportedly face many obstacles while displaced in Brazil. Notable challenges relate to verbal and sexual harassment, lack of access to sanitation and hygiene facilities for pregnant and menstruating women.
Migrants and asylum seekers indicated difficulties in obtaining fresh food products such as vegetables, fruits, eggs and meat. Many FGD participants reported relying on lower quality or highly processed food to meet nutritional needs.