Between January and May 2022, the north of Chile, in particular the Tarapacá Region, lived an upsurge of the humanitarian emergency that affected refugees and migrants from Venezuela, as well as the local communities that receive them in their cities. To support the Government response, UNHCR and its partner agencies distributed humanitarian assistance and developed integration projects for 6,112 people in the regions of Arica and Parinacota, Tarapacá and Antofagasta, as well as other 8.698 people in other locations in Chile.
According to a recent study by the University of Tarapaca, with the support of UNHCR, 75 per cent of the Venezuelan adults surveyed in the towns of Colchane and Iquique declared that they did not have a place to sleep at night and 71 per cent of them said that they had suffered cold at night. Another large percentage said that they did not eat the three minimum daily meals the last week. 68 per cent of the adults said that their lives or those who accompanied them were in danger during the journey, but 59.5 per cent said they felt safer in Chile than before starting the displacement.
The UNHCR Multi-country Office for Southern Latin America based in Buenos Aires covers operations in Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay.
Staff in Argentina and Chile:
71 National staff and affiliated workforce
13 International staff
Offices in Chile:
1 National Office in Santiago
1 Field Unit in Arica
According to the last register published in 2020 by the Chilean National Institute of Statistics, 1.5 million refugees and migrants live in Chile, this means nearly 9 percent of the country’s population. Most of them (30.7%) are from Venezuela.
Due to the pandemic, borders in Chile were closed since March 2020 and opened on 1 May 2022.
In 2021, according to the Ministry of Interior of Chile and the Investigative Police (PDI) more than 56,000 people entered Chile through unauthorized entry points.
Chile is the fourth destination for refugees and migrants from Venezuela, after Colombia, Perú and Ecuador.