With a projected figure of 479K Venezuelans expected by end-2020, Chile is the country hosting the third largest refugee and migrant population from Venezuela in the region. Despite the global COVID-19 pandemic and incidents of social unrest throughout 2020, the country has remained and will continue to be a key destination for refugees and migrants from Venezuela seeking protection, family reunification and other long-term opportunities.
Refugees and migrants from Venezuela have been critically affected by measures to curb the spread of COVID-19, resulting in delayed access to regularization processes and the loss of livelihoods. Those lacking documentation have struggled to access basic goods and services (healthcare, food and housing). Those entering the country irregularly through the arid and high-altitude northern regions after long journeys by foot - many of them smuggled or trafficked - are amongst those with the most severe needs, arriving in Chile in very poor physical health and psychological conditions. This trend is likely to continue in 2021.
Against this backdrop, the Platform in Chile has identified the main needs for 2021 as access to healthcare, socioeconomic and financial inclusion and local integration, and access to protection.