UN says 3m refugees, migrants left Venezuela

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Geneva –   United Nations agencies said on Thursday that the number of refugees and migrants, who left Venezuela had reached three million.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) made the statement, citing data from national immigration authorities and other sources.

Countries in Latin America and the Caribbean host an estimated 2.4 million refugees and migrants from Venezuela, while other regions account for the rest.

Colombia hosts the highest number of Venezuelans, over one million, followed by Peru, with more than 500,000; Ecuador, more than 220,000; Argentina, 130,000 and Chile, 100,000.

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Brazil and Panama have 85,000 and 94,000 Venezuelans respectively.

The statement quoted Eduardo Stein, UNHCR-IOM Joint Special Representative for Refugees and Migrants from Venezuela as saying, “Countries in Latin America and the Caribbean have largely maintained a commendable open-door policy to refugees and migrants from Venezuela.’’

However, he warned, “their reception capacity is severely strained, requiring a more robust and immediate response from the international community if this generosity and solidarity are to continue.’’

With rising numbers, the needs of refugees and migrants from Venezuela and the communities hosting them have also significantly increased.

The UN agencies said governments in the region were leading the humanitarian response and coordinating their efforts, including through the Quito process.

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This has been an important step towards a regional approach to scale up the response and harmonise policies.

The second Quito meeting of governments from the region will take place between Nov. 22 and Nov. 23. (Xinhua/NAN)

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