Wednesday 21 November 2018
 

Top News

One million fled economic crisis-hit Venezuela for Colombia in past year

Article published on The Guardian website on 05/09/2018

Red Cross says with the crisis intensifying, an estimated 37,000 people were now crossing the Colombian border each day.

At least one million people have entered Colombia from Venezuela since President Nicolás Maduro’s government descended into crisis last year, a senior Red Cross official told AFP.

The health director at the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), Emanuele Capobianco, said that not all have stayed in Colombia as displaced people, with some moving on to other countries in the region.

“To date we know that approximately one million people have entered Colombia through official migration points, and we don’t know how many have entered Colombia through unofficial migration points,” he said in a phone interview in Geneva, specifying that this movement had occurred “since mid-2017”.

With the economic crisis in Venezuela intensifying, an estimated 37,000 people were now crossing the Colombian border each day, he added.

On a recent trip to the region, Capobianco said he witnessed “a constant stream of people”, leaving Venezuela, some with their belongings strapped to their backs.

While the group is diverse, with some only looking to work in Colombia for a short period before returning home, most are on the move because they cannot meet their basic needs in Venezuela, Capobianco explained.

He described the situation as a “humanitarian crisis that needs to be better assessed”, including from a public health standpoint amid rising cases of malaria, diphtheria and other serious ailments affecting those migrating.
Maduro’s alleged crackdown on opposition and attempt to consolidate control of the country has triggered a tough global response, notably from the United States which has levied tough sanctions.

The South American country is in partial default on its debt and suffers severe shortages of food and medicines despite sitting atop the planet’s biggest proven oil reserves.

Caracas has been printing money as foreign reserves dwindle, and the national currency, the bolivar, has become nearly worthless.


Related Articles

The crisis of multilateralism and the future of humanitarian action

11/30/2016. Long before the November 2016 US elections, there were clear signals that multilateralism was in crisis. In fact, Donald Trump’s election is just the continuation of a downward spiral that has been under way for some time.

Order of Malta stands with Pope Francis in fight to end Human Trafficking

Article published on Vatican news website on 07/30/2018 by Francesca Merlo July 30th marks the annual World Day Against Trafficking

The Guardian view on the Arab spring: it could happen again

02/01/2017. The Arab world is home to 5% of the global population, but accounts for half of all terrorist attacks. With poverty outpacing the growth in numbers of young people and democracy crushed, a revolt could re-emerge.