In 2022, an estimated 33.4 million people, including 10.7 million children, will need humanitarian support related to ongoing crises including migration flows from the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and other countries, and needs related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Children and families have been hit by the humanitarian and socioeconomic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, including extended school closures, disruption of essential services, and rising violence against children and women. In response, UNICEF will support safe access to quality education, child protection and gender-based violence, and social protection services, including life-saving cash transfers, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), health, and nutrition services.
UNICEF requests US$178.9 million to address the humanitarian needs of the most vulnerable migrants and refugees, including Venezuelan and other nationalities and host communities, the most vulnerable national children and families affected by COVID-19, and people affected by violence and displacement.
HUMANITARIAN SITUATION AND NEEDS
In 2022, an estimated 33.4 million people, including 10.6 million children, will need humanitarian assistance due to COVID-19 impacts and the migration outflows from the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Haiti, Cuba, Chile and Brazil, among others, as well as the internal displacement in Colombia. There are 5.7 million Venezuelans on the move worldwide, with 80 per cent (4.6 million) moving within the region. Approximately 3.6 million Venezuelans, including indigenous populations, are settled in the Plurinational State of Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Trinidad and Tobago, and Uruguay. These countries host the most vulnerable migrants and refugees, with limited livelihood opportunities and poor access to health, nutrition, education, WASH, and child protection and gender-based violence (GBV) services.
Children and adolescents on the move, especially girls and those unaccompanied, face many challenges due to the lack of safe pathways. Due to a high prevalence of irregular migratory status across the region, they are highly vulnerable and often encounter different forms of violence, abuse, exploitation and neglect – including recruitment by armed groups and child labour – while also being at heightened GBV risk, trafficking, smuggling, discrimination and exposure to COVID-19. They often lack access to the national education systems, policies and other basic services such as WASH, health, nutrition and child protection.
The socioeconomic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have hit the Latin America and Caribbean Region harder than any other region in the world, pushing half of the region’s children below the poverty line. Venezuelan migrants and refugees, in particular families with children, and pregnant women and single mothers, have been extremely vulnerable to the impacts of the pandemic on income and livelihoods due to their overrepresentation in the informal sector and their low inclusion in social protection mechanisms. Venezuelan children and their families are in urgent need of integration into national social protection systems to access basic income support and essential social services.
Colombia continues to experience multiple emergency affectations compounded by internal displacements and violence, the Venezuelan migration crisis, migration influx from other countries, disasters, and the COVID-19 pandemic, which has aggravated the humanitarian situation in Colombia.
In Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Trinidad and Tobago, and Uruguay, approximately 24.8 million vulnerable people will need assistance due to the COVID-19 pandemic, violence and internal displacement. They have limited access to health care, including maternal health and vaccinations, nutrition, child protection, education, early childhood development, WASH and social protection services. Furthermore, girls and women are increasingly vulnerable to GBV. Additionally, 86 million children and adolescents continue to be affected by the total or partial closure of schools in the region.