Located in the province of Sucumbíos, which borders the Colombian department of Putumayo, the Lago Agrio Field Office started its operations in 2000. From this office, UNHCR covers another Amazonian province: Orellana.
Initially, this office opened to respond to the large influx of Colombian nationals who were forced to flee their country. At present, the area continues to receive a large flow of Colombian refugees.
Additionally, the worsening scenario in Venezuela has caused numerous individuals entering Ecuadorian territory through unofficial entry points as the land border crossings remain closed because of the Covid-19 pandemic. The use of these irregular crossing points present protection risks to Persons of Concern.
The province of Sucumbíos, marked by the impact of the Colombian situation, oil exploitation, environmental degradation, the absence of various governmental institutions and a reduced socioeconomic development, adds numerous challenges for the integration of refugees and migrants. In order to promote local integration and access to livelihoods, UNHCR works closely with local authorities (GADs) and includes host communities as beneficiaries of its projects.