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R4V Southern Cone Situation Report - September 2021

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  • Argentina reached 115,225 deaths and 5,258,466 confirmed cases of coronavirus contagion by the end of the month. Non- resident foreigners entry caps from abroad are to be lifted as from November. Since 27 September, two border crossings were opened in the provinces of Misiones and Mendoza, thus allowing the entry of visitors from Brazil and Chile, respectively. By the end of September around 48 per cent of the population has been vaccinated with two doses and 65 per cent having received one, according to official data. So far, vaccination has been extended to those over 18 years of age and children and youths with risk factors. Starting October, vaccination will be extended to all adolescents from 12 years old on. On 29 September, the online web page to submit online asylum claims was reactivated, but not for registration purposes as once asylum-seekers submit their request, they are assigned an appointment to assist personally to either the National Refugee Commision premises or a Migration office. In Bolivia, with the arrival on 26 September of the new batch of Pfizer vaccines, the country has already available the doses for 100 per cent of the vaccinable population, which is around 7,180,428 people over 18 years old. The Government reported that now everything is in the hands of the departmental (regional) health services (SEDES). In the country only 28 per cent of the population is fully vaccinated, while 37 per cent has one dose. In Paraguay, the Ministry of Health released vaccines for the first dose to those over 20 years old "until stocks are exhausted." In the country only 26 per cent of the population is fully vaccinated, while 38% has one dose. In September, Uruguay began the process of opening its borders to foreigners. The first step was to allow non-Uruguayan citizens who own real estate in the country to enter, as long as they were vaccinated against COVID-19. As reported by the National Directorate of Migration between 28 august and 1 September- when the process was formally enabled - 674 entry authorizations for foreigners with property were requested and there were "thousands" of inquiries.

  • The situation in Argentina’s northwest border with Bolivia has continued to show a steady flow of refugees and migrants from Venezuela arriving to the city of La Quiaca (Jujuy), where partners registered the arrival of 139 refugees and migrants (145 in August), some of them manifesting already having received one or two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. The impossibility to initiate either migratory regularization or seek asylum in La Quiaca persist. Misiones border (with Brazil and Paraguay) saw the arrival of 12 persons. No asylum claims have been admitted by Puerto Iguazú ́s Migration office since 12 August. In Bolivia, between August and September 2021, the flow of refugees and migrants in transit between Bolivia and Chile increased (7500 persons), overcoming the flow reported in January and February 2021. The R4V partners alerted on growing trend of deterioration of the health conditions of the Venezuelan refugees and migrants arriving in the country, most of them families with children (frequently exacerbated by the climate and altitude conditions, with respiratory difficulties, burnt and wounded lips and skin, infections, stomach diseases and malnutrition, etc). The death of a Venezuelan man was reported in Desaguadero (border with Peru) during the month.