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Connectivity is a Lifeline for Venezuelan Migrants

by NetHope, Inc.
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Connectivity is a Lifeline for Venezuelan Migrants
Connectivity is a Lifeline for Venezuelan Migrants
Connectivity is a Lifeline for Venezuelan Migrants

The complex emergency stemming from an economic and political crisis in Venezuela has caused many Venezuelans to flee. Of the millions seeking safety and access to a better way of life,  border countries such as Colombia, Brazil, Peru, and Ecuador are impacted with the responsibility to ensure that security, safety, and effective aid coordination is in place to protect itself as well as those in need. NHFO is providing emergency telecommunications services to support its members and other relief aid agencies with active programs in response to the crisis.

Since December 2018, NetHope has, through support from its partners and member organizations, been able to provide connectivity to over 150,000 migrants in over 100 sites in Colombia and Peru. NetHope partners Cisco, Facebook, Team Rubicon, and MSB supported with deployment of the services. A recent $250,000 grant from Facebook Connectivity has allowed us to provide an extended network of connectivity and study sites for other network hubs along the larger migration route.

NetHope Venezuelan Migrant Response information is received from NetHope’s local members and staff operating within Colombia. Currently there is no restriction of mobility due to COVID-19 for telecommunications companies however, for the general population, it remains obligatory to remain home unless authorized to work and for emergencies. While the Colombian government is making attempts to gradually revive the economy by slowly allowing companies to reopen, NetHope continues to respond to the crisis through its partner Cisco which is providing remote assistance to active NetHope sites. NetHope is also receiving support from seconded member Mercy Corps, the IT manager on the ground. NetHope is currently providing connectivity to 75 sites within Colombia and Peru.

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Photo by Gonzalo Suardiaz
Photo by Gonzalo Suardiaz

Just as the crisis of migration out of Venezuela is growing, NetHope and its consortium of responding nonprofits is expanding as well.

Currently, 105 network sites have been installed chiefly in Colombia, providing connection for response organizations as well as the displaced Venezuelans. To date, we have more than 105,000 unique users on these networks. This connectivity gives organizations the ability to communicate, locating services where most needed and providing migrants with access for them to locate these services, find food, shelter, employment, health, and educational opportunities, and connection with family and friends.

As the locations the migrants grows, we are doing assessments and beginning to plan additional network sites in other countries including Peru and Brazil, and assessments will soon begin in Mexico as migrants fan out further around South and Latin America. Working with members including Save the Children, NRC, IRC, CRS, and HIAS, and the UNHCR, we collaborating and sharing information to expand the network to keep migrants connected to help them find the resources they need as they look for new homes, work, jobs, and re-establish themselves.

Your donations help us expand these networks, helping dozens of response organizations and thousands of people looking for safety for themselves and their families.

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Organization Information

NetHope, Inc.

Location: Fairfax, VA - USA
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @NetHope_org
Project Leader:
Ric Brewer
Fairfax, VA United States

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