Latin America & the Caribbean: Weekly Situation Update (3-9 February 2020) As of 10 February 2020
2.2K MIGRANTS AND ASYLUM SEEKERS STRANDED IN MATAMOROS,
INCLUDING 700 CHILDREN
2.7K CENTRAL AMERICAN MIGRANTS DEPORTED FROM MEXICO VIA GUATEMALA IN JANUARY 2020
4.1K GUATEMALANS DEPORTED FROM THE UNITED STATES IN JANUARY 2020
MEXICO & CENTRAL AMERICA: MIGRANTS & REFUGEES
According to UNICEF, there are an estimated 2,200 migrants and asylum seekers, including 700 children, stranded in the north-eastern border city of Matamoros while they wait for their asylum cases to be processed in the United States under the United States’ “Remain in Mexico” program. The program allows the US to place asylum seekers in Mexico while they wait for their asylum procedures, often in vulnerable condition with no protection or support.
UNICEF Mexico is responding to reach children and families in need with child-friendly spaces and psychosocial support, coordination of WASH services and protecting migrant children. UNICEF is also calling on the Mexican Government to implement the Protocol for the Protection of Migrant Children to guarantee the rights of migrant children in Mexico.
The Guatemalan Migration Institute (IGM) reports that, excluding Guatemalan nationals, some 2,735 migrants from Central America were deported by land from Mexico via Guatemala in January 2020, including 2,231 Honduras, 429 Salvadorans and 75 Nicaraguans, most of whom were likely part of the recent migrant caravan that tried to enter Mexico through Tecún Umán.
IGM also reports a spike in Guatemalan deportees from Mexico in January 2020, noting that the 2,633 people returned from Mexico are a 521 more than January 2019 figures. Additionally, IGM indicated that the 4,171 Guatemalans deported from the United States in January 2020 is the highest January total recorded, surpassing the previous record of 4,076 in January 2019.
GUATEMALA: UN AGREEMENT
On 5 February, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and IGM signed an agreement with the UN System in Guatemala to create a UN-supported interorganizational working group to help migrants returning to Guatemala.
The working group will devise protocols, guidelines and procedures to respond to the needs of migrants, and will receive support from UNHCR, IOM and UNICEF.
In addition to the group, the Government will seek to open formal thematic communications channels with El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, and the US to coordinate actions in the long term and for mass population movement events.
2.3M+ PEOPLE IN NEED OF FOOD ASSISTANCE IN GUATEMALA
GUATEMALA: FOOD SECURITY
Guatemala is set to launch the National Grand Crusade against Undernutrition project, a multi-sector effort that seeks to reduce chronic undernutrition in the country by seven per cent for 2023 and promote proper nutrition for pregnant women and infants.
Undernutrition remains a chronic issue in Guatemala - the National Food and Nutrition Security Council estimates that there are more than 2.3 million people in need of food assistance. Several public institutions have already signed their commitments to the project.
The Government says it will prioritize actions in 113 municipalities across the departments of Alta Verapaz, Chimaltenango, Chiquimula, Huehuetenango, Jalapa, Quetzaltenango, Quiché, San Marcos, Sololá and Totonicapán.
2.6K TOTAL CASES OF DENGUE IN THREE DEPARTMENTS IN PERU
On 7 February, the Ministry of Health declared 90-day health emergencies for the Loreto, Madre de Dios and San Martín regions due to the 2,628 total dengue cases and 11 deaths reported so far in 2020. Nearly 40 of the reported cases are severe dengue.
The Ministry says that high caseload is due to a serotype not seen in Peru since 1990, one that presents heightened risk for children. Ministry staff are training regional health authorities in proper treatment protocols for this variant.
The Ministry of Health deployed a team of health inspectors to Loreto to check for mosquito breeding activity in some 97,000 homes. Authorities in Madre de Dios and San Martín are carrying out fumigation activities across their regions, with regional health officials in Madre de Dios prioritizing 24,000 homes in the Tambopata province.
Madre de Dios and Loreto activated their contingency plans and have made arrangements for additional hospital beds, equipment and treatment supplies.
800 PEOPLE AFFECTED BY FLOODING IN SOUTHERN BOLIVIA
The overflow of a local river affected some 800 people in the Cotagaita municipality in the southern Bolivian department of Potosí. The Viceministry of Civil Defence (VIDECI) and departmental authorities are assessing the situation.
Preliminary reports indicate that the flooding did not lead to any casualties.
The mayor of Cotagaita reports that the floods swept away 250 homes and the district education headquarter.
The mayor is requesting national and departmental authorities to provide heavy machinery to move land near the river to prevent further flooding, as well as clear debris. VIDECI officials have delivered food, bedding, blankets and tools to assist affected families.