Since 2015, more than 5 million people have fled Venezuela's rapidly deteriorating economic and political situation, driven by hyperinflation, widespread unemployment, food and medical shortages, and violence. While no country in the Latin America and Caribbean region has been left untouched by the migration crisis, Colombia and Peru are the two countries in the region that are most affected by the migration, hosting nearly 2 million and nearly 900,000 Venezuelan migrants and refugees, respectively. Hundreds of thousands of migrant children throughout the region are missing out on education as a result of the crisis. Children and their families are exposed to serious risks during their migration, including gender-based violence, exploitation and trafficking.
Meanwhile, the political and socio-economic development in Venezuela have left millions of families who remain at home vulnerable to hunger, sickness and poverty. The UN estimates that 7 million people in the country are in need of assistance, with food, health, nutrition, protection and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) assistance among the priority needs.
Now, the global coronavirus pandemic has created a crisis within a crisis, further complicating an already difficult situation for millions of families in Venezuela and throughout the region. The COVID-19 disease outbreak, as well as measures taken to contain it, presents new challenges and exacerbates pre-existing ones, for both families and relief actors alike. The humanitarian needs of children and families in Venezuela and throughout the region are vast and acute. Here's what Save The Children is doing about it.