Operational information on the Latin America subregion is presented below. A summary of this can also be downloaded in PDF format. This subregion covers the following countries:
Latest update of camps and office locations 21 Nov 2016. By clicking on the icons on the map, additional information is displayed.
Budgets and Expenditure in Subregion Latin America
People of Concern - 2018 [projected][["Refugees",148927],["Refugee-like situation",158722],["Asylum-seekers",141048],["IDPs",7874000],["Returned refugees",7580],["Stateless",46],["Others of concern",44535]]
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Operational Environment and Strategy
Since the signature of the peace agreement in December 2016, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) have begun disarming and reintegrating into civilian communities. The FARC have since turned over more than 7,000 weapons. However, illegal armed groups continue to resort to violence vying for territorial control and forced displacement is expected to continue particularly along the Pacific Coast and the border region, affecting mainly Afro-Colombian and indigenous communities. In 2018, the Operation in Colombia will implement a multi-year multi-partner protection and solutions strategy 2018-2020 for IDP prevention and solutions and international protection and emergency response for the Venezuelan arrivals. UNHCR will work closely with the UN Verification Mission to ensure its awareness of protection and solutions issues, and continue to strengthen its alliances with development actors to facilitate durable solutions for IDPs. In Ecuador, UNHCR will continue to provide support to strengthen national asylum systems and to work towards durable solutions.
The growing trend of forced displacement from and within El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras – also known as the North of Central America (NCA) – continued increasing significantly during 2017, with more than 215,000 refugees and asylum-seekers from the NCA registered in the sub-region by mid-2017. While displacement in and from the NCA is multifaceted and has multiple causes, violence and insecurity continue to be major factors compelling people to move. Traditionally, NCA citizens seek international protection in Canada and the United States of America. However, in the last two years, UNHCR has witnessed a significant increase in the number of asylum-seekers from the NCA in Belize, Costa Rica, Mexico and Panama. Guatemala is also increasingly being perceived by people of concern not only as a country of transit, but as a country of asylum.
The Comprehensive Regional Protection and Solutions Framework (CPRSF), a States-led process of solid initiatives taken by the North and Central American countries to strengthen protection and solutions measures, was developed in line with the 2016 New York Declaration on Refugees and Migrants, its Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework as well as previous regional efforts such as the Brazil Plan of Action and the San Jose Action Statement. Belize, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico and Panama have so far joined the CPRSF through the development of national action plans and regional cooperation mechanisms. Building on the solidarity and responsibility-sharing mechanisms in the region, the CPRSF will support States in fully implementing their commitments, while identifying and addressing remaining gaps through integrated responses involving a broader range of stakeholders and mobilizing additional resources for implementation. In parallel with the regional response, in 2018 UNHCR will continue to work with partners to build strong asylum systems; establish mechanisms to respond to urgent protection risks faced by IDPs and other people affected by violence; identify and protect returnees with protection needs; and find durable solutions for all people of concern. UNHCR’s response also ensures safe transit by establishing protection networks along the main migration routes and providing humanitarian assistance, with a special focus on the most vulnerable.
The deteriorating situation in Venezuela has continued to generate population outflows. The number of asylum applications lodged by Venezuelans around the world rose to around 48,500 from January through 19 September 2017. This is a considerable increase over 2016, which saw 34,000 claims lodged by year end. The countries receiving the highest number of asylum applications are Brazil, Costa Rica, Mexico, Peru, Spain and the United States of America. The ongoing outflows from Venezuela have posed a number of challenges, and despite the efforts of host countries to generously meet increasing needs, a strengthened response is required in the areas of physical security, documentation, as well as sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), and exploitation and abuse. In 2017, UNHCR activated its internal Emergency Level 1 to signal the need for “proactive preparedness” in the event of an emergency involving people leaving Venezuela. In 2018, UNHCR will continue to work with partners to strengthen its presence in the border areas of neighbouring countries to better provide humanitarian assistance including through multi-purpose cash grants, and to support government registration, documentation, and access to refugee status determination (RSD) processes or alternative legal pathways with protection safeguards.
Argentina, Brazil and Chile will continue to set an example as emerging resettlement countries with re-designed resettlement and private sponsorship programmes, and will continue to receive families affected by the conflict in Syria and from the North of Central America.
Countries in the region continue to work under the Brazil Plan of Action (BPA), the regional framework for cooperation and responsibility-sharing in Latin America and the Caribbean. The triennial evaluation of the BPA on the chapters relating to statelessness, solutions and quality of asylum will feed into the global compact for refugees through a regional conference in Brasilia in February 2018.
The ongoing increase in the number of persons seeking asylum over the last few years has put a strain on asylum systems in the region. As this is likely to continue through 2018, UNHCR will continue to invest in asylum systems building and strategic case management through the Quality Assurance Initiative (QAI).
The budgetary requirements for Latin America have increased since last year to bolster its presence and monitoring capacity in border areas in response to increased arrivals from Venezuela, the growing needs in the North of Central America and continued stabilization efforts in Colombia.
Financial shortfalls will seriously affect UNHCR’s capacity to respond to these situations and to continue supporting the implementation of the Brazil Plan of Action, the Quality Assurance Initiative and the implementation of multi-year protection and solutions strategies.
The largest budget requirements are related to the following objectives: (i) improved of reception conditions and border monitoring, (ii) improved access to quality status determination, (iii) potential for integration realized and (iv) women’s empowerment, child protection and SGBV prevention and response.
2018 Budget for Latin America | USD
|Argentina Regional Office||6,186,526||163,870||0||0||6,350,396|
|Panama Regional Office||25,883,586||0||0||0||25,883,586|
|Regional Legal Unit Costa Rica||3,142,349||806,118||0||0||3,948,467|
|Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of)||10,805,911||0||0||0||10,805,911|
2018 Voluntary Contributions to Latin America | USD
|Earmarking / Donor||Pillar 1
|International Organization for Migration||399,150||0||399,150|
|Private donors in Switzerland||0||100,000||100,000|
|Private donors in Switzerland||268,891||0||268,891|
|Panama Regional Office|
|Panama Regional Office subtotal||824,801||0||824,801|