Between 2015 and 2017, the number of Venezuelan immigrants in Latin America went from 89,000 to 900,000 people, which represents an increase of more than 900%, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM). A preliminary estimate by the United Nations suggests another 300,000 have left Venezuela in the first four months of 2018
Throughout the world, Venezuelan immigration grew by almost 110% in the same period, from 700,000 people to 1.5 million, according to the same source.
“These numbers represent one of the most important migratory crises that we have experienced in recent years, but it is being well managed thanks to the solidarity of neighboring countries,” the UN spokesperson in Geneva said at the UN press conference. IOM, Joel Millman.
The majority of Venezuelans have emigrated to Colombia, Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Ecuador, Peru and Uruguay, although the organization did not provide data disaggregated by countries. The majority of Venezuelans who enter Colombia do so through Cúcuta; in Brazil, by the state of Roraima; in Ecuador, in Rumichaca; in Peru, in Tumbes, and in Chile, by Tacna.
Half of those who have arrived in Latin American countries have obtained permanent or temporary residence permits, “which is to be praised, because it is not something that often happens,” said Millman.
According to the data provided by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), until April 26, 170,169 Venezuelans had asked to be considered asylum seekers globally, 24,000 of them in Brazil.
“But many other people have obtained humanitarian visas or other types of residence permits,” said UNHCR spokesman Andrej Mahecic. For its part, the World Food Program (WFP) recalled that it has made an emergency appeal of 46 million dollars to distribute emergency food to 350,000 people through a distribution program so that immigrants can buy food.