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IDB and UNHCR join efforts to address forced displacement crisis in Latin America and the Caribbean

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Today, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) President, Mauricio Claver-Carone and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to address the development challenges and opportunities generated by rising forced displacement across Latin America and the Caribbean.

The IDB and UNHCR will collaborate to foster solutions and promote the inclusion of displaced populations in host communities, with a particular focus on vulnerable people, especially women and children. The agreement promotes programs and projects to maximize technical capacities and knowledge transfers in areas such as data collection and analysis, strengthen multilateral coordination platforms and joint resource mobilization, and work toward operational synergies.

Today’s announcement enhances the ability of both organizations to meet the unprecedented challenges facing the region and the opportunities to improve the socio-economic inclusion for millions of migrants and refugees while also benefitting their host communities.

“Latin America and the Caribbean has more migrants per capita than any other region in the world. Today’s agreement paves the way to establish durable solutions to address the drivers of migration, and better help both host communities and the displaced. By expanding our work, UNHCR and IDB, will directly impact lives and begin to address this unprecedented challenge in every country in the region,” stated IDB President Mauricio Claver-Carone.

Latin America and the Caribbean is facing the largest human mobility crisis in recent history. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on refugees and migrants, further affecting their income and living conditions. The growing Venezuelan exodus, record numbers of people fleeing the countries of northern Central America, together with new migration outflows from countries such as Haiti or Nicaragua, and returns of displaced and migrants to the Northern Triangle have put countries up to an unprecedent social inclusion challenge.

“This agreement reinforces our longstanding collaboration to tackle forced displacement across the region,” said UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi. “This strategic and innovative partnership will help to provide refugees and other displaced people with the critical support they need to become self-reliant while contributing to their host communities.”

The IDB and UNHCR have been working together to successfully improve the lives of refugees and migrants across the region. The IDB has taken an active role to support regional processes and the Global Compact for Refugees, while promoting the participation of the private sector in the response to the Venezuela refugee and migrant crisis. Other projects include innovative financing mechanisms, mapping of Venezuelan communities in host countries, supporting ongoing regularization processes of Venezuelan refugees and migrants in Colombia and Ecuador, the implementation of housing subsidies for the most vulnerable and studies on the impact of public policies by host countries.

About the IDB:

The Inter-American Development Bank is devoted to improving lives. Established in 1959, the IDB is a leading source of long-term financing for economic, social and institutional development in Latin America and the Caribbean. The IDB also conducts cutting-edge research and provides policy advice, technical assistance and training to public and private sector clients throughout the region. The IDB’s Vision 2025, outlines several strategic goals to achieve economic and social development in Latin America and the Caribbean reactivate the productive sector, promote social progress, and strengthen good governance and institutions. Access the IDB virtual tour.

About UNHCR:

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is a global organization dedicated to saving lives, protecting rights and building a better future for refugees, forcibly displaced communities and stateless people. We lead international action to protect people forced to flee their homes because of conflict and persecution. We deliver life-saving assistance like shelter, food and water, help safeguard fundamental human rights and develop solutions that ensure people have a safe place to call home where they can build a better future. We also work to ensure that stateless people are granted a nationality. We are in over 130 countries, using our expertise to protect and care for millions.

For more information on this topic, please contact:

  • In Panama, William Spindler, spindler@unhcr.org, +507 6382 7815
  • In Panama, Olga Sarrado, sarrado@unhcr.org, +507 6640 0185