UNICEF Migration flows in Latin America and the Caribbean Situation Report No. 2 | 8 Sept – 8 Oct 2018

Report
from UN Children's Fund
Published on 08 Oct 2018

Highlights

  • The latest official reports indicate that as of September 2018, around 2.6 million Venezuelans are currently living abroad, including 2 million across countries within Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). Nearly 70 per cent of them have left the country between 2015 and 2018.
  • UNICEF estimates that around 430,000 children in Colombia, Brazil, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, Ecuador, Peru and Panama, need some form of assistance, including Venezuelan children migrating to or in transit through other LAC countries, non-Venezuelans returning to their countries of origin and children living in host communities where basic services are under extreme pressure due to the increased demand.
  • During the past month, governments in the region have made considerable progress in articulating a regional approach to the migratory crisis. Through the Declaration of Quito signed on 3 September, 11 States agreed to receive expired travel documents for immigration purposes and decided to establish a regional programme, with UN support, for exchanging information.
  • UNICEF’s Country Offices in Colombia, Brazil, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, Ecuador, Peru and Panama continue implementing and further expanding response interventions, focusing on migrant arrival points, along routes and in destination settlements.
  • In Colombia, over 8,000 children have been reached with psychosocial support and thousands are expected to benefit from the installation of water and sanitation infrastructure at the Arauca Migrant Center and the Nariño border site (Ecuador border).
  • In Brazil, child friendly spaces established at shelters are benefiting more than 3,600 children with specialized services, including for indigenous children.
  • Essential non-food items have been distributed to 110 Venezuelan and host families in border communities in Guyana.
  • At the main border crossing site from Colombia to Ecuador, Rumichaca, UNICEF has installed tents to temporarily host families crossing into Ecuador. Prioritized families also receive blankets, jerrycans, hygiene supplies for babies, and cash transfers.
  • In Peru, a child friendly space is functioning at the main border control site, where 2,163 children and adolescents in transit have received psychosocial support and more than 500 children under 5 have been reached by nutritional assessments and counselling.
  • In Trinidad and Tobago, UNICEF has partnered with the main local NGO to reinforce local capacities for addressing the needs of migrant children. A nutrition assessment has started with 32 children screened thus far. Coverage of the Temporary Learning Centre for migrant children has been increased to reach 170 children.
  • UNICEF and IOM partnership allowed the conduction of Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) rounds in Brazil and Panama. Results of these exercises are central for adjusting ongoing actions and planning for the next year’s interventions.

SITUATION IN NUMBERS

2.6 million
No. of Venezuelans living abroad, including:
2 million
No. of Venezuelans in countries within Latin
America and the Caribbean
(Source: IOM, Migration Trends in the Americas, Sept 2018)
430,000
Approx. No. of children in need of assistance as a consequence of the crisis in Colombia, Brazil, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, Ecuador, Peru and Panama.
(Preliminary estimations at transit/receiving country level.)

UNICEF Appeal 2018
US$ 28,050,000

SITUATION OVERVIEW

According to the latest official estimates - considering only regular migration numbers1 - around 2.6 million Venezuelans are currently living abroad, 2 million of them in countries within Latin America and the Caribbean. 2 Based on preliminary information, UNICEF estimates that around 430,000 children are in need of assistance in Colombia, Brazil, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, Ecuador, Peru and Panama. Among children in need are Venezuelan children migrating to or in transit through the mentioned countries, non- Venezuelans returning to their countries of origin (mainly Colombia or Guyana), and children living in host communities with pre-existing conditions of vulnerability, where basic services are under extreme pressure due to the increased demand (mainly Colombia and Guyana).
Neighbouring countries continue receiving the highest numbers of Venezuelan migrants and serve as the first stop for those in transit to other locations in South America. This is the case of Colombia where authorities report that over 438,000 Venezuelans have travelled across the country towards the Ecuadorian border, their main destinations being Ecuador, Peru, Chile and Argentina. In Ecuador, flows have remained steady during the reporting period after peaks observed in July and during the first half of August. The reason for this possibly being the measures announced by the Ecuadorian Government regarding entry requirements.
Despite the fact the situation of migrants, and particularly children, remains dire, great progress has been made during the past month in terms of advocacy and regional cohesion focused on the best interest of the most vulnerable. On 3 September, a "Regional Meeting on Human Mobility of Venezuelan Citizens in the Americas" was held in Quito.
Representatives of 13 Latin American countries met to exchange information and good practices fostering better regional coordination mechanisms. 11 countries3 signed the ‘Declaration of Quito’ and agreed to receive expired travel documents as identity documents of Venezuelan citizens for immigration purposes and decided to establish a regional programme with the support of the United Nations System, for the timely exchange of pertinent information of Venezuelan migrants, aimed at providing aid and achieving an orderly and secure migration.4 On 19 September, Mr. Eduardo Stein was appointed as UN Joint Special Representative for Venezuelan refugees and migrants in the region to promote a coherent and harmonized regional approach, in coordination with national governments, international organizations and other relevant stakeholders.
During the reporting period, as UNICEF Country Offices (COs) advance in implementing tailored immediate response strategies, with noticeable progress in reaching children and families from migrant and host communities, COs are already planning for medium- and long- term approaches, considering the impact that the situation may have for national and local social systems.
Within the framework of the IOM/UNHCR-led Regional Coordination Platform for Refugees and Migrants from Venezuela, humanitarian and development partners at country level – starting with Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Brazil and Dominican Republic - are currently undertaking joint analysis exercises to build a shared vision of the situation and to better estimate the extent of needs and vulnerabilities of the affected population.