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R4V Response for Venezuelans - Regional Inter-Agency Coordination Platform : Situation Report - September/October 2019

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In October, the number of refugees and migrants from Venezuela reached the 4.5 million worldwide, with 3.7 million hosted in Latin America and the Caribbean.


On 28 and 29 October, the European Union, together with UNHCR and IOM, co-hosted the International Solidarity Conference on the Venezuelan refugee and migrant crisis. The Conference was co-chaired by Federica Mogherini, High Representative/Vice-President of the European Commission, UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi, and IOM Director General António Vitorino. The event aimed to raise global awareness about the Venezuelan refugee and migrant crisis and the efforts of hosting countries and communities.

On 15 October, eleven countries in South, Central, and North America, as well as the Caribbean implemented the Unified Vaccination Card, which was proposed and promoted in the framework of the Quito Process. The card is intended for the Venezuelan population as a comprehensive registry of vaccines to protect the health of card holders and provide them with more efficient services, as well as support public health efforts in the regions where Venezuelan refugees and migrants transit or settle.

On 2 October, Brazil, launched the Second Phase of the "Operation Welcome” (Operação Acolhida) with the objective to increase the number of municipalities that will receive Venezuelans through the voluntary internal relocation program. In Peru, Police and Migration authorities have deployed more staff to detect and detain Venezuelan nationals without documentation. This is a result of a growing concern and discontent over heightened criminality, which is being widely attributed to the Venezuelan population through some media reports. Instances of discrimination and xenophobia continued in Peru following new reports on crimes and publications of videos where Venezuelan citizens were detained. Consequently, on 29 September, the Government of Peru issued a statement welcoming and confirming its solidarity towards Venezuelan refugees and migrants and rejecting all acts of xenophobia.

In Argentina and Uruguay, presidential elections took place at the end of October, resulting in a change of administrations in both countries. In Argentina, the elected president, Alberto Fernandez, will take office in December 2019; while in Uruguay, Luis Alberto Lacalle Pou will take office in March 2020. No changes in policies towards refugees and migrants from Venezuela is expected from either of the new administrations.

In October, violent protests broke out in Chile contesting the high cost of living, low pensions and high prices in medicine and health treatments. Some partners had to suspend or reduce activities due to the volatile environment.