“Refugees and migrants from Venezuela cannot be forgotten. Many have seen their lives come to a standstill and millions are struggling to feed their families or find opportunities to rebuild their lives. They are eager to contribute to their host communities with their knowledge, skills and creativity, and they have been doing so, but they need our support to overcome their most pressing challenges.”
By end-2022, there will be an estimated 6.3 million refugees and migrants from Venezuela hosted across 17 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.
According to the Refugee and Migrant Needs Analysis (RMNA), conducted by the Regional Inter-Agency Coordination Platform for Refugees and Migrants from Venezuela (R4V), and published in October 2022, the spiralling costs of living, lingering impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, lack of documentation and the widespread irregular status of refugees and migrants, and very high unemployment rates have increased the vulnerability of refugees and migrants from Venezuela and have undermined the efforts made in previous years to rebuild their lives and to integrate in host societies across the region. This has led to 73.4 per cent of refugees and migrants in-destination being in need of assistance under this Regional Refugee and Migrant Response Plan (RMRP).
To respond to these mounting needs, this new multiyear RMRP 2023-24 will bring together an unparalleled number of 228 appealing partners, including 208 NGOs, civil society and faith-based actors (46 of which are refugee- and migrant-led organizations) to implement humanitarian, protection and socio-economic integration activities to assist the situation of 3.4 million refugees and migrants1 and affected host community members in 2023 alone. The corresponding financial requirements of the 228 partners in 2023 amounts to USD 1.72 billion.
 In Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Panama and Costa Rica, the R4V response will also address the situation of 72.2K others in-transit (beyond Venezuelans and affected host communities).
KEY RMRP FIGURES BY COUNTRY
Key figures By national and sub-regional platforms
Where do we stand
Throughout 2022, an increase in the use of dangerous irregular routes and informal border crossings was observed, particularly due to a lack of documentation, increased visa controls, irregular status and lack of livelihoods or prospects for socio-economic integration. This further exposed refugees and migrants to risks of human trafficking, as well as to exploitation and abuse at the hands of smugglers, traffickers and other criminal networks.
In parallel, the majority of refugees and migrants from Venezuela have spent several years in their host countries. As a result, their needs surpass immediate life-saving interventions, and include access to asylum, to regularization and to social protection systems, as well as longer-term protection, self-reliance, and socio-economic integration. In response to these challenges, host governments are making efforts to regularize refugees and migrants from Venezuela in their territories and creating opportunities for integration.
In host countries, factors such as widespread irregularity, loss of or competition for livelihoods opportunities, limited education enrolment opportunities and lack of affordable housing have contributed to increased social tensions, at times resulting in incidents of xenophobia, discrimination and even violence.
Among the Venezuelans who have not benefitted from the notable regularization initiatives and who lack documentation, many have resorted to onward movements to new host countries, hoping for a safe and sustainable future. To get there, they often put their lives at risk by taking dangerous irregular routes, such as through the Darien jungle, between Colombia and Panama. Over 148,000 Venezuelans crossed the Darien between January and October 2022; 50 times more than in the whole of 2021. Alarmingly, of the refugees and migrants from Venezuela interviewed at reception stations in Panama, all claim to have seen, heard or been victims of sexual assault while walking through the jungle.
Host countries have shown continued leadership in responding to the crisis through establishing regularization initiatives and facilitating access to health, education and other social services. However, their capacities are stretched to a breaking point, and they require urgent international support.
Population flows in Latin America & the Caribbean
WHAT’S THE RMRP?
Since its establishment in 2018, the R4V Platform has acted as an inclusive and accountable forum that steers and monitors the operational response under the RMRP. The RMRP provides for immediate humanitarian and protection assistance for vulnerable refugees and migrants, encourages their inclusion into state-led planning efforts and national social protection systems, promotes self-reliance through income-generation and livelihoods programmes, and helps develop sustainable capacities of national and local actors to provide basic services.
Since its first iteration in 2019, the RMRP has served to channel USD 2.07 billion to more than 200 appealing partners, to positively impact the lives of refugees and migrants from Venezuela across the region, as well as affected host communities, including through the convening of solidarity and donors’ conferences (in 2019, 2020 and 2021), utilizing the RMNA and RMRP as advocacy tools, to ensure financial support is secured from international cooperation actors to respond to millions of refugees and migrants from Venezuela across the region.
After five years as a single-year response plan and building on an extensive consultative process with stakeholders in all 17 countries of the response, the R4V Platform has adapted the RMRP to the requirements and expectations of stakeholders to become a multi-year response plan, which allows for the 228 appealing partners of the RMRP 2023-2024 to include activities covering up to 24 months. This change will facilitate the inclusion of medium/longer-term socio-economic integration, social inclusion, and other activities, such as those targeting social cohesion and xenophobia, and is in line R4V’s commitment to supporting the Humanitarian-Development-Peace Nexus.
Detailed information on each appealing organization’s activity’s geographic and thematic focus, targeted individuals (disaggregated by age/gender/population group), and financial requirements, as well as updated information on its implementation status, is available on the Data Page of R4V.info, and on the R4V Humanitarian Data Exchange (HDX), underscoring the common commitment towards transparency and accountability of R4V partners.
FINANCIAL REQUIREMENTS BY SECTOR AND YEAR
THE REGIONAL RESPONSE for 2023-2024
Complementing government-led responses the RMRP’s 228 appealing organizations (including 82 national NGOs, 58 international NGOs, 33 faith-based organizations, 29 civil society organizations, 15 UN agencies, 6 organizations of the Red Cross Movement, 4 organizations of academia, and the World Bank) will implement 16,558 sectoral or multisectoral activities in 2023 alone, in 17 countries (Argentina, Aruba, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Curaçao, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guyana, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Trinidad and Tobago, and Uruguay) to assist some 3.41 million refugees, migrants and members of host communities.
1. Provide and improve safe and dignified access to essential goods and critical services in synergy with sustainable development assistance.
2. Enhance the prevention and mitigation of protection risks, and respond to corresponding needs through supporting the protection environment in affected countries.
3. Increase resilience, socio-economic integration opportunities, social cohesion, and inclusive participatory processes to improve living standards of affected populations.
These objectives aim to improve the living conditions of refugees and migrants from Venezuela as well as of affected host community members, and to provide a foundation for a better future for them, in line with the UN Secretary-General’s Agenda for Humanity, the 2016 New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Through an alignment and integration of SDGs into the RMRP, R4V actors will support host governments’ efforts to integrate SDGs in their national development plans and strategies, further strengthening the Humanitarian-Development-Peace Nexus across the region.