The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) considered that the Venezuelan migration crisis has ceased to be only regional in nature to become “global”.
According to figures from UNHCR, Latin America and the Caribbean currently host 80% of the 4.3 million Venezuelans who have left the country in recent years, with Colombia being the country that has received most refugees from that nation: 1.4 million Venezuelans.
The deputy representative of UNHCR in Colombia, Yukiko Iriyama, warned that as the economic crisis in Venezuela worsens, those who leave the country and arrive in Colombia make it even more in need of assistance.
“People arrive in more vulnerable conditions, so they require more humanitarian support”, Iriyama said.
Among the Venezuelan migrants who arrive there are pregnant women, malnourished children and people with disabilities, so they represent an even greater burden for Colombia, he said.
The flow of arrivals increased recently as many Venezuelans tried to cross Colombia to reach Ecuador before the imposition of a humanitarian visa to enter this country came into effect this Monday.
The deputy representative of UNHCR in Colombia, claimed a shared international responsibility about the exodus of Venezuelans, after recognizing that not all Venezuelans who have left the country can be considered refugees since “people leave for different reasons”.
However, he asked to integrate migrants into the labor market. According to a World Bank study “although this flow may have a (negative) impact on the economy in the first years (…) in the long term, if it is regularized and guarantees that people can work legally and contribute to the economy of Colombia, then they become something positive”.