Panama + 5 more

UNHCR Panama Fact Sheet, August 2020

News and Press Release
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Panama is home to +19,000 refugees and asylum-seekers. 115,768 Venezuelans displaced abroad are estimated to be living in the country.

742 persons were provided with legal counselling and assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic.

2,603 refugees and asylum-seekers were supported through CBI and multipurpose grants during the COVID-19 pandemic.


The refugee population is mainly composed of persons from Colombia, El Salvador, Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela. Especially during the last two years the asylum claims form Venezuela and, in particular, Nicaragua, have dramatically increased.

At the same time mixed movements entering through Darien (border with Colombia) increased during 2019 (more than 23,000 people1) with small numbers requesting international protection in Panama, whilst most others transiting northward through Panama. During the COVID-19 pandemic, over 2,000 persons remain in the Reception Centers in Darien and Chiriquí since March due to border closures to prevent the spread of the virus.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, refugees and asylum seekers in Panama have faced new and exacerbated risks, especially with the loss of opportunities to generate an income and daily subsistence has become a challenge.