The country’s citizens have become one of the largest groups of displaced populations in the world, following the acceleration of the mass exodus from the end of 2015
GENEVA – More than four million Venezuelans have left their country because of the crisis, the International Organization for Migration and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) announced on Friday.
The country’s citizens have become one of the largest groups of displaced populations in the world, following the acceleration of the mass exodus from the end of 2015.
In just seven months since November 2018, the number of Venezuelan refugees and migrants has increased by one million, according to the two authorities.
“The pace of the outflow from Venezuela has been staggering,” the IOM and UNHCR said in a joint statement.
“From some 695,000 at the end of 2015, the number of refugees and migrants from Venezuela had skyrocketed to over 4 million by mid-2019,” it added.
The vast majority of Venezuelans have moved to other countries in the region.
Currently, Colombia hosts 1.3 million of them, followed by Peru with 768,000, Chile with 288,000, Ecuador with 263,000, Argentina with 130,000 and Brazil with 168,000.
“These alarming figures highlight the urgent need to support host communities in the receiving countries,” said Eduardo Stein, joint UNHCR-IOM representative for Venezuelan refugees and migrants.
He added: “Latin American and Caribbean countries are doing their part to respond to this unprecedented crisis but they cannot be expected to continue doing it without international help.”
Both agencies are trying to provide support through a regional plan launched in December, which would allow them to assist 2.2 million Venezuelans and 580,000 people in host communities across 16 countries.
The project is severely underfunded and has only received 21 percent of the money it needs, the statement said.