Action Against Hunger’s emergency response team in action. Photo: Lys Arango for Action Against Hunger, Colombia.
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Since 2014, there has been a 2,000% increase in the number of Venezuelan nationals seeking asylum worldwide, principally in the Americas during the last year, according to the United Nations refugee agency. “The movements are taking place for a variety of reasons, including insecurity and violence, lack of food, medicine or access to essential social services as well as loss of income,” Aikaterini Kitidi, spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), told reporters at a press briefing in Geneva.
That exodus has considerably increased over the last two years. An estimated 1.6 million Venezuelans were abroad in 2017, up from 700,000 in 2015, said the International Organization for Migration.
“Venezuelans live in increasingly difficult conditions, with many fleeing the country,” International Development Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau said in a statement.
Working through the UN’s World Food Programme and Action Against Hunger, Canada is providing humanitarian assistance to help meet the emergency needs of crisis-affected Venezuelans and Colombians in Colombia, focusing on food, nutrition, water and sanitation assistance.
“Canada’s support will help experienced partner organizations respond to the growing humanitarian needs in the region. It will provide much-needed relief for those affected by the crisis and help alleviate some of their suffering,” added Bibeau.
Canadians wishing to help can support our work here:
Our work in Colombia is undertaken with the financial support of the Government of Canada provided through Global Affairs Canada (GAC).