Ecuador + 2 more

UNHCR Ecuador monthly update (8 March - 8 April 2021)

Situation Report
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Operational context

COVID-19: Confirmed cases have surpassed 350.000 nationwide, and hospitals are working at full capacity. Phase 1 of the vaccination plan began to vaccinate older persons, health staff, people with disabilities, and catastrophic diseases. However, refugees and migrants without an Ecuadorian identity card are facing problems registering online in the plan. UNHCR is working together with the Government to solve this technical issue and continues to monitor the vaccination process nationwide to ensure the inclusion of the refugees and migrants, line with the rights enshrined in the constitution.

POPULATION MOVEMENTS: UNHCR and partners identify 450-500 Venezuelan caminantes entering daily through visible paths during working hours. Additionally, 400 Venezuelans return to Colombia every day due to lack of livelihoods and because they have exhausted all sources of humanitarian assistance in Ecuador. Additionally, around 400 Venezuelans cross into Colombia everyday, as a result of the difficult economic situation in Peru and Ecuador.

PROTECTION CONCERNS: Tensions between Venezuelans and locals continue to increase. In Montserrat, after a violent fight occurred on 4 April where an Ecuadorian youth died, 200 people from the community participated in a protest, demanding justice for the victim and the eviction of Venezuelans from their neighborhoods. UNHCR and partners had to relocate several families for security reasons and continues collaborating with the Municipality of Otavalo and human rights bodies to promote peaceful coexistence with neighborhoods and communities in this city.

Moreover, rural communities close to the northern border continue to report increasing visits from irregular armed groups from Colombia to buy food and alcohol. Some of the visits may also be related to recruitment activities.