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Published On: Mon, Mar 19th, 2018

Venezuela crisis: Venezuelans fleeing their country, Neighboring countries stretched to capacity

Since 2014, more than 4 million Venezuelans have fled to find safety, food and medicines in Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Argentina, the United States, Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, Aruba, Curacao and Spain.

Image/CIA

Neighboring countries like Colombia, Ecuador and Panama are stretched to capacity by the sheer number of families arriving in the past months, putting massive pressure on the region.

This has prompted Christian Visnes, country director for the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) in Colombia to say, “International community and governments in the region must step up their efforts immediately to provide much-needed protection and humanitarian assistance”.

Although displaced Venezuelans are making it across the border, they face humanitarian needs in neighbouring countries. A comprehensive and rapid response to food, education, documentation and health needs will be vital throughout the region. In addition, the access to refugee status for Venezuelans in neighbouring countries is still uncertain.

“In Colombia, many Venezuelans are arriving to conflict areas and face serious protection risks such as forced recruitment, sexual exploitation and abuse, disappearances, threats and killings. They need protection now,” urged Visnes.

Venezuela is facing the worst economic crisis in its history leading to an all-time high unemployment and scarcity of basic needs and services. In addition, the country is experiencing growing crime and violence. The murder rate ten is times the global average in 2017 – 89 deaths per 100,000 people, ranking as the most violent non-conflict country in the world.

Related: 

Venezuela’s Accelerating Descent to Socialist Misery

Venezuela is world’s ‘Most Miserable’ country again

Venezuela: Violent crime, shortages prompt travel warning

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