By end-2020, Peru is expected to host some 1.05 million refugees and migrants from Venezuela. To mitigate the spread of COVID-19, in March 2020, the country closed its borders. In the absence of regular pathways to access the country, refugees and migrants resorted to entering the country irregularly. This has heightened protection risks, including those related to human trafficking, smuggling and gender-based violence (GBV).
The socioeconomic impact of the pandemic has substantially increased unemployment and poverty rates among refugees and migrants from Venezuela, who are now in dire need of humanitarian assistance, in particular food security and nutrition, shelter, WASH, access to healthcare and mental health support, as well as education. Refugees and migrants need to meet these basic needs to ensure better access to durable solutions such as integration and self-reliance.
The Government continues to show great solidarity towards refugees and migrants. In October 2020, the Ministry of Interior enacted Supreme Decree 010-2020-IN approving exceptional and temporal measures to regularize foreigners whose stay permits expired or who entered the country irregularly. Hosting some 500,000 asylum seekers from Venezuela, and while the processing of asylum claims has been suspended for most of 2020 the Government is developing a new ‘humanitarian residence’ regime that will be open for these asylum seekers in 2021.