As rampant inflation and political unrest intensifies in Venezuela, over one million refugees have left their homes and crossed the Simon Bolivar bridge into neighboring Colombia in the last year. Reports from Colombia estimate that more than 5,000 individuals cross the border each day, settling in adjacent camps lacking basic infrastructure. Urgent humanitarian aid is desperately needed to support Latin America's worst-ever refugee crisis with protection needs of vulnerable populations unmet.
UNHCR reports identify that worsening conditions are ripe for a secondary crisis - about half of the refugees crossing the border are malnourished, and concerns over the spread of measles and AIDS has spurred animosity towards new arrivals buoyed by increased resource allocation to this highly vulnerable population of refugees. Already limited access to food, medical supplies, and protection resources are insufficient for the camps' rapidly growing population.
IsraAID will capitalize on its wealth of experience working on the specific psychosocial needs of displaced persons all over the world-including in Bangladesh with Rohingya refugees; with Syrians and Yazidis in Germany and Greece; and with internally displaced and refugee South Sudanese in Kenya, Uganda, and South Sudan. This will be achieved by strengthening and improving accessibility to informal education and psychosocial support, through the establishment of Child-Friendly Spaces.
Since arriving, the team has conducted a comprehensive on-the-ground needs assessment, distributed urgently needed relief items, and is now ready to implement continuous programming to support those in need while bolstering existent community assets. This project will respond to the needs of vulnerable communities affected by this mass population movement, including Venezuelans and returning Colombians, as well as, host communities in Barranquilla, Colombia.