Ecuador + 2 more

UNHCR Ecuador Biweekly Update, 8 - 22 February 2021

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Situation Report
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Operational context

COVID-19: confirmed cases have surpassed 268.000 nationwide, and are expected to increase during the following weeks due to non-compliance with biosecurity measures and social distancing during the Carnival Holiday. Authorities have postponed the re-opening of the international border with Colombia at Rumichaca International Bridge (the main point of entry of Venezuelans) to 1 June. The border has been closed since 16 March 2020 due to the pandemic.

BORDER MOVEMENTS: Arrivals of Venezuelans at the border with Colombia were slightly lower due to heavy rains and high military presence, likely also as a result of the Colombian Government’s announcement of its plan to regularize Venezuelans. UNHCR and its partners identified approximately 400-500 Venezuelans entering daily through visible irregular paths in Carchi and 35 in Sucumbíos. However, many Venezuelans continue to enter Ecuador through less visible irregular paths at night hours, exposing themselves to severe protection risks, so this is likely to be an undercount. At the southern border, despite of Peruvian military presence, Venezuelans continue to cross towards Peru. For the first time since the start of the pandemic, UNHCR has identified an increase in Venezuelans traveling towards Colombia.