Peru is the second country of arrival for refugees and migrants from Venezuela and the first in asylum applications, hosting some 1,043 million persons according to the Superintendence of Migration. Following an increasingly challenging journey, most refugees and migrants from Venezuela arrive in dire need of humanitarian assistance to meet their most basic needs, including shelter, food and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH).
Peru’s remarkable economic success between 2000 to 2013 and economic stability up to 2019 opened a great opportunity for the improvement of the living conditions of many within its national population, including 6.4 million people climbing above the poverty line and a decrease of extreme poverty from 31 to 11 per cent. These advances also provided the conditions to receive the increasingly vulnerable Venezuelan flows. However, despite these economic achievements and stability, the country continues to face many structural challenges on the provision of basic services and on the sustainable management of its natural resources to support its growing population, economic activities and development.
Peru’s commitment to development, particularly to the achievement of the sustainable development goals (SDGs), represents its biggest opportunity to attain sustainable economic growth. In this context, human mobility benefits and boosts this growth. According to a macroeconomic analysis made by the BBVA, refugees and migrants from Venezuela have a positive net fiscal impact, improve the human capital with highly qualified professionals in key areas where the local labour market requires it, and increases the availability of labour force, thus boosting the productive capacity of the Peruvian economy. Moreover, this analysis further demonstrated that the positive impacts to the potential Gross Domestic Product (GDP) could be heightened if the Venezuelan population is employed according to their education level, given that a substantial part of this community is highly educated, and as a result would contribute to a larger extent to increase the aggregate demand (internal consumption), essential for the country’s overcome of the current economic contraction.
Nevertheless, Peru like the rest of Latin America and the world, face increasing challenges, including economic and development ones, as a result of climate change and the mismanagement of natural resources.
Today more than ever, development and durable solutions to humanitarian needs cannot come if not hand in hand with environmental responsibility. This is the only path to ensure that the benefits of human mobility will harness sustainable economic growth and livelihoods and will prevent further humanitarian and governance crises. While the current pandemic has proven that all countries face significant challenges when economies and services derail in the response to emergencies, it has also shown that regions with high inequality, like Latin America and its already vulnerable communities, may struggle the most. As the effects of climate change affect everyone directly or indirectly, by 2070 more than three billion people may find themselves living outside optimum climate for human life, displacing tens of millions of persons due to droughts, desertification, flooding, unbearable heat, disruption of economies and livelihoods, climate driven conflict over resource scarcity and staggering food insecurity.3