According to UNHCR, the number of Venezuelans who have fled the country has just exceeded 3 million, of which 2.4 million to Latin America and Caribbean countries. Colombia (1 million ) and Peru (500 000) are the primarily affected. Figures correspond to official data and it is expected that the the numbers could be much higher.
Spontaneous and precarious settlements without shelter or basic services are quickly growing in border areas and in the main cities of Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. According to UNICEF, 1.5 million people (of which 500 000 are children) are in need of humanitarian assistance in Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, Brazil and the southern Caribbean. Reception countries have repeatedly called for international support.
Their health status is also precarious, with a high percentage of food insecure people suffering from chronic diseases, for which no treatment is available in Venezuela. Reception countries are keen to provide free emergency healthcare, but not for chronic diseases or expensive treatments.
Armed violence in border areas of Colombia and Venezuela is also worsening, exposing migrants and refugees to human trafficking, sexual violence and extortion. These risks are exacerbated by their extreme vulnerability. In Colombia, internal displacement caused by armed violence increased by 115% in 2018.