Panama + 2 more

Situation Alert N°1: Refugees and migrants in transit in Necoclí (Antioquia) as of 19 July 2022

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CONTEXT

7 JULY 2022

In Panamá, union and social organizations called indefinite protests due to demands regarding price increases, unemployment and corruption. As a result, there have been roadblocks , which have generated shortages of goods and fuel. These roadblocks include the Pan American Highway, a route for mixed transcontinental movements coming from the Darien region, bordering Urabá region in Colombia.

11 JULY 2022

The Panamanian government summoned the protest leaders to a working group which, at the cutoff date of this report, has not reached an agreement to lift the protests.

15 JULY 2022

According to a joint report by the Human Mobility Group of the United Nations System in Panama and humanitarian actors with local presence, several points of the Inter American Highway in the south of the country are closed (with partial and gradual openings at night). At the refugee and migrant assistance points on Panama’s southern border, some 4,000 people are stuck , basic services are being provided, but there are still gaps in WASH and shelter; besides, security conditions prevent the opening of humanitarian corridors.

18 JULY 2022

The Urabá local GIFMM identifies a significant risk of collapse of services in Panama for refugees and migrants in transit as well as a risk of a ‘bottleneck’ in Necoclí municipality, in case that the situation in Panama continues and leads to the closure of sea transit Additionally, there is a growing trend in weekly flows during the month of July, whose average increased by 78% compared to June . Given that the daily average of departures from the official dock in Necoclí was ≈440 people between July 9 and 15, and that in June approximately half of the persons in transit did not depart from the dock, according to official figures from the Panamanian government, it is estimated that potentially between 800 and 900 people per day could be in a ‘bottleneck’ in Necoclí , other localities in Urabá and even other areas of the country.