Peru has the second largest population of Venezuelan migrants after Colombia, with an estimated 1.32 millionas of December 2021.
Since COVID-19 interrupted services at the Binational Border Service Centre (CEBAF) at the Peru-Ecuador border in Tumbes and the Government closed borders, irregular entries increased dramatically: during January 2022, IOM identified up to 1,946 migrants entering Peru every day, around 13% of them on foot. State protection presence on the grounds is limited in Tumbes. The Special Protection Unit (UPE) currently faces work overload and reduced staff, and the Emergency Residential Care Centre in Tumbes is constantly reaching its full capacity.
In March 2022, UNICEF observed between 300 and 350 migrants and refugees entering Bolivia through Desaguadero - Puno on the Eastern border of Peru, reaching Chile mostly through alternative routes in the Colchane region. The border with Chile in Tacna remains closed, therefore migrants head to Chile through Bolivia.
In contrast, UNICEF also observed between 40 and 80 migrants returning to Peru daily because they are not able to reach Chile or did not find the conditions they were expecting. This journey is particularly concerning because of the lack of economic resources and the climatic conditions in the area. During their transit through Desaguadero, migrants are visibly unprepared to face the cold temperature and the high altitude. Several of the children that arrive in Puno suffer from vomiting, dehydration and malnutrition, mainly due to the long journey and the lack of access to safe hot meals and drinking water.