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R4V Flash Update: COVID-19 Update, September 2020

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In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, refugees and migrants now form an even greater proportion of the poorest quintile in the region. This finding is based on a R4V partner report that while informal workers are increasingly included in social protection programmes, despite enhanced efforts by R4V actors to advocate for the inclusion of refugees and migrants into national social protection mechanisms across the region, to the majority of refugees and migrants engaged in the informal work sector do not benefit from such vital treatment.
The situation of violence and armed conflict in some countries of the region continues to affect the Venezuelan refugee and migrant population. Through its early warning system, which monitors the risk of the civil population (including Venezuelans) amidst internal armed conflicts, the Colombian Ombudsperson’s Office identified that Venezuelans are at a heightened risk of being victims of homicide, forced displacement, sexual exploitation, as well as recruitment by and involvement in illegal activities perpetrated by irregular armed groups. According to a gender analysis2 conducted in Ecuador, the increased vulnerability of refugees and migrants also contributes and exacerbates their risk of becoming victims of human trafficking.
Evictions of Venezuelan women topped 400 a day in Colombia and Ecuador, leaving many homeless and exposed to protection risks. According to data collected by the Integrated Information System on Gender Violence (SIVIGILA) and the Ministry of Health in Colombia, there has been a significant increase of gender-based violence (GBV). Based on the same report, from January to August, 78 per cent of reported GBV cases were perpetrated against Venezuelan women and girls.