The countries of the Caribbean sub-region (Aruba, Curaçao, the Dominican Republic, Guyana, and Trinidad & Tobago) continue to witness arrivals of refugees and migrants from Venezuela, despite visa requirements and movement restrictions in place due to COVID-19. Many enter irregularly, risking their lives and exposing themselves to significant health and protection risks, including human trafficking, smuggling, exploitation and abuse. Access to asylum remains limited, and reports of detention, deportation or non-admission without access to asylum procedures continue to be major concerns. Since 2018, countries in the Caribbean sub-region have hosted large numbers of refugees and migrants and Guyanese returnees from Venezuela, with projections that some 224,000 will be hosted in the Sub-region by end-2021. Host communities in these five countries have been adversely affected due to their limited absorption capacity and the impact of COVID-19 on largely tourism-reliant economies, while increasing numbers of Venezuelans have added to the strain on resources and public services. Governments in the Sub-region continue to engage with R4V partners in efforts to respond to the needs of refugees and migrants from Venezuela and affected host communities.
Strengthening access to critical goods, like food and NFIs, and services, such as shelter, health and education, are priorities, especially for persons with specific needs.