• Although official borders were closed across the region to contain the spread of COVID-19, by December 2020, 5.4 million Venezuelans had left their home country, an estimated 4.6 million of which reside in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) countries - 700,000 more than in December 2019.
• LAC was declared the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic between May and November, and Venezuelan migrants were not spared. The socio-economic effects of the pandemic disproportionally affected migrants, refugees and disadvantaged host communities, whom have lost their already limited social and economic support to cover basic needs. According assessment in affected countries, main urgent needs expressed by migrant families include food, housing, access to employment and sources of income. Due to suspension of services, children have missed out on critical protection, education, early childhood development, health and nutrition services.
• In 2020, UNICEF’s response in six countries reached over 885,000 people and 525,000 children from migrant and host communities, including services and supplies in key sectors like education, health, nutrition, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), protection and cash transfers, as well as messages on life- saving skills, protective practices and behaviours, and against xenophobia.
• UNICEF programmes were also impacted by the pandemic. Part of the activities had to be suspended, and some strategies were adapted to comply with COVID-19 containment measures, shifting to remote modalities, ensuring physical distancing, implementing biosafety measures.