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Chile: Situation Report - October 2021

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SITUATION

• The continued influx to Chile´s northern border has led national and local authorities to announce a series of response measures. As part of it, two sanitary temporary shelters will be set up in Iquique and in Alto Hospicio, each with the capacity for 250 people. Together with the two first-reception centers in Huara and Colchane, around 800 refugees and migrants will be tested for COVID-19 and receive humanitarian aid.

• On 27 October, the Government confirmed the implementation of another sanitary temporary shelter for those who have crossed through unofficial border points located 25 kilometers south of Iquique in the Lobito Campus of the at Arturo Prat University. The shelter will be composed of rigid tent-like structures appropriate for larger groups with capacity to host 250 persons and set up by R4V partners following international standards.

• A group of 60 Venezuelans (19 children) entered Chile from Bolivia to the city of Ollague, around 300km south of Colchane, on 24 October. The group was taken to a sanitary shelter in Antofagasta. The city Mayor expressed fears that a continuous influx may overload the city reception capacity.

• In October, five refugee and migrant deaths were registered at the border between Pisiga (Bolivia) and Colchane (Chile). They are believed to have succumbed to the extreme weather and rough terrain. One of them was a Venezuelan woman of 63 years, with chronic underlying health issues. So far in 2021 there have been 17 victims, including a nine-month-old baby of Venezuelan parents.

• A recently published study from the University of Talca on “The socio-labor characterization of the Venezuelan refugees and migrants in Chile, showed that visas or personal documentation expiration and entry through unofficial border points are the main obstacles that the Venezuelan community faced in terms of employment. Regarding incomes, 47.2 per cent of Venezuelan refugees and migrants that are in an irregular situation earn less than or equal to USD 383 (minimum wage), and only 13 percent earn more than USD 633.

• The Consulate of Chile in Caracas announced that the government of Chile resumed the process of family reunification visas.
Residents who request the reunification of their families must have a permanent visa to stay in Chile.