VENEZUELANS IN NEED OF INTERNATIONAL PROTECTION AND COLOMBIAN RETURNEES
As of 15 April 2021, more than 5,800 persons have entered Colombia to escape armed confrontations that began on 21 March between the National Bolivarian Armed Forces of Venezuelan and FARC dissidents in the Venezuelan State of Apure. Although small-scale spontaneous and unassisted returns to Venezuela have been reported within the last couple of days, higher numbers of irregular entries from Venezuela into Arauca continue to take place. Most Venezuelans and Colombians fleeing the armed confrontation in Venezuela have expressed an intention to stay in Arauquita for the foreseeable future. A COVID-19 outbreak in several reception points is a recent source of concern, and UNHCR is strengthening the response capacity of local health authorities by providing isolation spaces and additional bio-security elements.
UNHCR is coordinating its response with the national interagency platform (GIFMM in Spanish) in support of the Arauquita Mayor’s Office. In doing so, UNHCR prioritizes counselling, orientation and information, registration, shelter, and delivery of core relief items (CRIs) in two organized reception sites (Gabriel Garcia Marquez School, (GABO) and Alcides Ceballos) and in the 58 identified informal reception points in the rural and urban areas of Arauquita and Saravena.