LATIN AMERICA & THE CARIBBEAN: MIGRANTS & REFUGEES
FROM HAITI UNHCR, IOM, UNICEF and OHCHR are urging for a comprehensive regional approach in responding to Haitian migrants’ protection needs, while also warning that the situation will likely worsen following the 14 August earthquake’s impact on alreadylimited capacities to receive returning Haitians who had fled from violence and insecurity. At least 19,000 in the capital of Port-au-Prince have been displaced by violence in 2021 alone. Nearly 1 in every 4 people live in extreme poverty, while nearly half the population faces acute food insecurity.
These flows have become evident in Panama, who report more than 88,500 irregular migrant entries, mostly people from Haiti so far in 2021. This 30 September figure indicates that 18,500 more migrants entered Panama in a seven-day span since 23 September.
Protection remains a concern, with officials reporting the discovery of 40 human remains in the dense Darien jungle on Panama’s eastern border with Colombia during the week. While violence is common along the route, authorities indicate they also found the remains of nine people in the aftermath of a heavy rainfall that other migrants say swept some people in their group away.
FROM CENTRAL AMERICA & MEXICO
Migrant encounters at US-Mexico border so far in 2021 surpass 2019 and 2020 combined. Per the United States’ Customs and Border Protection, the US has encountered more than 1.5 million migrants, mostly from El Salvador,
Guatemala and Honduras, along the US-Mexico border since the October 2021 start of the 2021 fiscal year. The total is a record high that exceeds the 1.4 million combined encounters recorded in 2019 (977,500) and 2020 (458,000).
Deteriorating conditions amid chronic violence, poverty, inequality and food security and its driving effects on crossborder migration continue to pose immediate humanitarian challenges in countries of origin and transit.
The UN in Chile is expressing concern over recent reports of violence and xenophobia against Venezuelan migrants in Chile. Following police-led evacuations of hundreds of families at a makeshift camp set up in a public square in the northern port city of Iquique, some 3,000 protestors in took to the streets, resulting in attacks on migrants and fires set to migrants’ belongings. Police forces intervened to break up the attacks on the migrants, who had been staying in the settlement for months.
The UN in Chile urged an end to the violence and expressed its willingness to offer technical assistance and work with national and local authorities. Chile’s Interior Ministry denounced the protests but added that authorities will continue with evictions and planned expulsions of undocumented migrants. Per the Jesuit Migrant Service Foundation in Chile, some 23,600 undocumented migrants entered Chile in the first half of 2021, nearly 7,000 more than in all of 2020.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.