The Venezuela crisis

The political, social and economic crisis Venezuela is currently going through has brought about violence, insecurity and the deterioration of basic human rights. Shortages in food, medicine and essential services are making matters worse.  

THE SCALE OF THE CRISIS: KEY FIGURES
Day after day, Venezuelans are faced with new hardships. Families, pregnant women, the elderly and people with disabilities are left with no other option but to flee.   
5.8 million
people have left Venezuela since 2014, about 12% of the country’s total population
5,000
people still flee the country every day
+8,000%
increase in asylum requests from Venezuelans since 2014
851,000
Venezuelan asylum-seekers in the world
A collaborative approach  

Hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans in neighbouring countries do not have any form of identification or residence permits; thus, they are unable to exercise their basic rights.  

UNHCR is working with neighbouring governments to implement a comprehensive and coordinated needs-based approach to improve the care for displaced Venezuelans.  

UNHCR’s action complements what governments are doing to provide emergency shelter to Venezuelans entering bordering States and major cities.  

At the same time, the UN Refugee Agency is implementing measures to guarantee their protection and secure their fundamental rights.  

In the throes of displacement and poverty 

Not only is Venezuela going through a political, social and economic crisis, it is also lacking food, medicine and essential services. As a result, it is undergoing the largest exodus in the region's recent history. 

Venezuelans arriving in other countries with no form of identification, which is the case for most, are extremely vulnerable to sexual and labour exploitation, human trafficking, violence, discrimination and xenophobia.   

UNHCR's response

UNHCR works to improve measures to meet refugees’ immediate basic needs upon arrival, and fight discrimination and xenophobia in host countries. It also aims to strengthen refugees’ social and economic integration to ensure a smooth transition into the host communities.   

For example, UNHCR has strengthened its presence along the borders to limit risks, such as human trafficking and exploitation, and to identify people in need of special protection and services, such as unaccompanied children and pregnant women.   

UNHCR also provides legal assistance and advice to new arrivals and distributes clean water and hygiene kits to children and women in border areas.   

To date, UNHCR has opened 13 temporary housing structures in Boa Vista and Pacaraima, sheltering 6,000 Venezuelans. 

Finding funds, the number one priority 

In order to support host countries, we must urgently intensify humanitarian assistance and social and economic integration. Helping them will ensure they can continue welcoming refugees and migrants in a safe and caring environment.   

In 2021, UNHCR needs CHF 276 million to respond to the most urgent needs in the 16 host countries affected by the crisis.  

Less than half has been raised to date.   

The situation is critical, we must help.