The Venezuelan Response and Integration Office (VRIO) assists the Government of Colombia (GOC) in its response to the current migration crisis. It coordinates with civil society organizations, government agencies, and other international agencies to respond to the needs, like education and health service access, of Venezuelan migrants, returning Colombians, and receptor communities. VRIO also works with GOC agencies to develop a comprehensive policy response to this migration.
Since 2015, over 4 million Venezuelans have migrated to Colombia in search of medical care, employment and essential services. This migration is the largest cross-border mass exodus in the Western Hemisphere’s history and it poses extraordinary challenges to Colombian society. Due to Colombia’s limited experience with immigration, the increase in migrants has overwhelmed the GOC's capacity to respond and has resulted in increased xenophobia, human trafficking, labor exploitation, recruitment by illegal armed actors, and spread of disease. The increase in migration has also complicated Colombia’s transition to peace following 50 years of internal conflict by putting an additional strain on government resources and conflict-affected communities.