UN says comparable numbers of refugees flee Venezuela as war-torn Ukraine


The refugee crisis in Venezuela is notable because there is no war in the country like Ukraine, where the ongoing conflict has driven people out of the country.

“The United Nations has confirmed that the number of Venezuelans displaced has reached 6.8 million people — the world’s largest refugee and migrant crisis involving Ukraine, surpassing Syria for the first time,” said Rachel Schmidtke, senior lawyer for Latin America. America of Refugees International. a statement.

But “although the number of Venezuelans and Ukrainians displaced from their homes is now about the same, the international response is not,” Schmidtke added.

“This year, donors have funded only 13 percent of the humanitarian response plan for Venezuelans, while the Ukrainian response plan has received nearly five times that amount,” she said.

Deteriorating economic conditions, food shortages and limited access to health care are increasingly forcing Venezuelans to leave, and a growing Venezuelan community in the United States is also a draw, Doris Meissner, who leads US immigration policy at the impartial Migration Policy Institute in Washington. , previously told CNN.
In July, the US Border Patrol detained 17,603 Venezuelan migrants at the US-Mexico border, an increase from June, according to the latest available data from the agency. Venezuelans have also arrived in Washington DC and New York City on buses contracted by the state of Texas. They often apply for political asylum.

Authorities can return migrants under a Trump-era pandemic rule known as Title 42, but it doesn’t apply to everyone. The public health authority allows border officials to quickly expel migrants to Mexico, but there are limits to the rollback of nationalities.

That, coupled with frosty relations with countries like Venezuela, keeps the US from removing certain people, meaning they may be released while going through immigration procedures.

The flow of people north presents a challenge to US President Joe Biden, making it a major topic being discussed between him and Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

Government officials have been monitoring the increased movement of migrants in the region for months. Many migrants traveling north held informal jobs before the Covid-19 pandemic and were particularly vulnerable to falling into extreme poverty as economies tighten, while others are fleeing violence and political instability.

Migrants often pass through a dangerous jungle known as the Darien Gap, which spans the borders of Panama and Colombia, on their journey to the US.

A Venezuelan family who spoke to CNN after arriving in Washington on Wednesday called the journey through the Darién Gap treacherous but said they had fled to the United States for safety and work.

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