REFUGEES AND MIGRANTS IN CHILE 455,494
PEOPLE TARGETED IN 2020 254,000
In May, 668 Venezuelans gathered outside the Venezuelan Embassy in Santiago de Chile to request their Government’s assistance with a humanitarian return flight, enduring increasingly cold and harsh weather conditions. Two COVID-19 cases were detected among the group and isolated in ‘sanitary shelters’, where they have received treatment. The Government introduced an affidavit, requesting refugees and migrants of all nationalities to sign should they benefit from a humanitarian return flight to their country of origin. The affidavit imposes a nine year entry ban to Chile. Following several interventions of Platform members and other civil society organizations, the Government is now considering revising the affidavit.
The number of COVID-19 cases continued to rise throughout the month of May, with a total of 99,688 infections identified and 1,054 COVID-19 related deaths registered to date. The entire Gran Metropolitana region was placed under strict quarantine as of early May. . Municipalities, including Santiago, Estación Central and La Pintana are struggling with an increase in requests for assistance regarding evictions, defaults in rent payments and the need for urgent basic assistance.
The Government’s Emergency Response Plan, announced on 20 April 2020, was expanded in May to include an emergency income plan for families impacted by loss of employment due to COVID-19 as well as the distribution of over 2 million food baskets as part of the “Food for Chile” plan. Undocumented refugees and migrants and their children are currently unable to benefit from these assistance programmes, butR4V partners are advocating for their inclusion..
The Government of Chile assumed the Pro Tempore presidency of the Quito Process on 27 May 2020, taking over from the Government of Colombia. During the handover, the new Presidency underscored Chile’s role as a destination country and the need to support greater socio-economic inclusion of refugees and migrants.