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Preparedness and mitigation measures for refugees and migrants from Venezuela - COVID-19: Update No 2 - 25/03/2020

Situation Report
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• Following the closure of all borders, the declaration of state of emergency and of the quarantine with mandatory curfew, authorities confirmed that refugees and migrants from Venezuela are not part of the governmental bonus reserved to families in poverty and extreme poverty during the quarantine. Yet, authorities are coordinating with GTRM partners to ensure assistance arrives to highly vulnerable Venezuelan nationals, especially elderly people.

• The Ministry of Health (MINSA) is the one authority currently performing detection tests. The MINSA has assigned more staff to attend the emergency and essential material is being distributed throughout the country.
Nevertheless, limited health personnel in Tumbes raises concerns.

• Venezuelan doctors are to join the response supporting the MINSA.


• Mobility restrictions during the quarantine are hindering partners efforts to follow up on the situation at the borders. In addition, the government, in coordination with the Superintendence for Migrations (SNM), determined that all persons entering the country irregularly will be detained. Over 460 detentions have been reported, however, the Superintendence for Migration (SNM) has suspended administrative sanctions during the period of quarantine for foreigners who have overstayed and for those with irregular entries. Appointments for migration services are being rescheduled and the SNM is temporarily overturning any order to expel foreigners and extended the validity of all inmigration ID cards.

Local Response Tumbes (northern border):

  • GTRM Partners are supporting some two hundred refugees and migrants with shelter, food, access to drinking water and hygiene kits during the covid-19 emergency.

  • Partners have secured funding to cover ongoing treatments and access to medicines and core relief items for children, persons with disabilities, elderly and persons with chronic conditions among the refugees and migrants.

  • Partners are providing orientation and counselling services through hotlines to ensure continuity of assistance.
    Local Response Tacna (southern border):

  • GTRM partners are providing orientation and counselling services through dedicated hotlines as well as supporting shelter and distributing food.


• Partners report that national ID is needed to test for COVID-19, limiting the screening for refugees and migrants.

• Asylum seeker identity cards are not considered as valid documentation to access the free passage permit. This aggravates their vulnerability during the emergency.

• The government Special Protection Units’ (UPE) child protection services are limited, heightening the risk of increased violence and need for psychosocial support.

• Twelve families with children have been evicted from their accommodations. The ongoing mobility measures are limiting the capacity of GTRM partners to relocate them to existing shelters.

• Procurement challenges increased with the shortage of suppliers working and/or with products availability.