KEY RESPONSE MESSAGES
Political, human rights and socio-economic develop- ments inVenezuela continue to lead to the exodus of millions of refugees and migrants—nearly 5.2 million as of Sept. 5, 2020. About 100,000 Venezuelans have opted to return to the country during the pandemic, despite border restrictions and increased risks.
In response to the crisis brought on by COVID-19-prevention measures, World Vision is requesting US$3 million to increase response activities insideVenezuela.We are working to reach 50,000 people through multi-purpose cash assistance.This allows them to buy essential supplies like food, medici- ne, and personal hygiene items.We are focused on the most vulnerable people in Venezuela.
Venezuela is among the least prepared countries to respond to the coronavirus pandemic, as it lacks basic supplies needed to prevent infection and treat illness. Meanwhile, economic shutdowns and border closures have prompted migrants to once again take to the illegal crossings, exposing children and women, in particular, to increased risk of trafficking and abuse. This is particularly acute at Colombia’s border with Venezuela.The international community should focus on humanitarian aid towardsVenezuela, applying humanitarian law and obligations, and try to prevent a health disaster across much of Latin America.
Migrants’ needs under COVID-19 are accentuated by higher risks of income loss, housing eviction, exploita- tion, human trafficking and others. In a recent World Vision assessment conducted in 7 countries in South America, 70% of Venezuelans had to change their housing arrangements because they could no longer afford it and looked for a cheaper solution, shelter or remain on the street. In this context every third child reported going to bed hungry. Governments need to ensure that humanitarian organizations have access to communities, migrants and refugees to provide basic assistance alongside the governments.
World Vision’s 7-country response aims to raise US$80 million to reach 700,000 people from January 2020 through December 2022.That includes reaching 200,000 regionally and 40,000 in Venezuela between October 2019 and September 2020.