HI assisting thousands of Venezuelan refugees in Colombia
Some 1.8 million Venezuelans have fled their country to live in Colombia. Humanity & Inclusion (HI) provides these vulnerable individuals and their host communities with emergency assistance.
HI is supporting venezuelians migrants in Maicao | © HI
Since 2013, Venezuela has experienced its worst economic, political, and social crisis in 45 years. This has limited access to health care, sanitary facilities and food, and significantly increased humanitarian needs. At least 4.7 million Venezuelans have fled to countries around the world, including 1.8 million to Colombia and 1 million to Peru. Many have also taken refuge in Ecuador and Brazil.
Psychological support and rehabilitation
Since April 2019, HI has been providing psychological support to some 4,000 people in the Maicao transit centre in Colombia run by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on the border with Venezuela.
HI also provides rehabilitation care for 400 people, including people with disabilities, older people and indigenous groups, technical support such as training to local rehabilitation organisations, and organises social cohesion activities, including sports, for Colombians and Venezuelans in order to promote peaceful understanding between communities.
COVID-19 in Colombia
During the Covid-19 crisis, HI’s teams have continued to carry out some activities in the Maicao centre. HI psychologists have organised remote psychological support and rehabilitation sessions via videos and Whatsapp. HI has also provided families with information on how to protect themselves from the epidemic.
HI is also providing support to more than 2,000 Venezuelans in Medellín, the second largest city in Colombia, in conjunction with Medellín city council. Our teams provide them with psychological support by organising one-to-one and group sessions, and help them complete legal formalities to access basic services such as health care. HI also organises sports and cultural activities to strengthen the social cohesion and social and cultural inclusion of Venezuelans in Medellín. The organisation runs similar activities in Bogota and Barranquilla on the Atlantic coast
HI is training 30 members of other organisations nationally to take into account the needs of the most vulnerable individuals, including people with disabilities, when implementing projects related to the hosting of Venezuelans.
Venezuelans in Peru
Following an assessment of the humanitarian aid needs of Venezuelan refugees in Peru, HI launched a project in May 2020 to train other organisations to take into account the most vulnerable people, including people with disabilities and older people, when implementing emergency response.