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|2021 planning figures|
|25,000||community members will participate in peaceful coexistence, community-building and awareness activities|
|15,000||persons at heightened risk will receive material and other support|
|15,000||survivors of gender-based violence will receive psychosocial, legal, medical and/or material support|
|2019 year-end results|
|495,700||people participated in community-based activities including on access to services, child rights, support for livelihoods and prevention of sexual and gender-based violence in 54 prioritized communities|
|110,700||people from communities impacted by displacement participated in awareness-raising sessions held in UNHCR-supported community spaces|
|79,600||people with specific needs were assisted with essential relief items, including solar lamps, jerry cans, mosquito netting, hygiene kits and menstrual cups|
|1,000||survivors of sexual and gender-based violence received psychosocial, legal, medical and material assistance|
People of Concern
Thousands of Venezuelans who lost their income or housing in host countries during the COVID 19 pandemic saw no option but to return to their country. Despite border closures, it is estimated that over 100,000 people spontaneously returned to the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in 2020.
COVID-19-related restrictions were implemented by the Venezuelan authorities to receive the returnees, with a mandatory quarantine in reception centres. Many returnees, especially those not assisted, faced discrimination upon return in their own communities.
The pandemic worsened the security, socio-political, and economic situation inside the country, with exacerbated shortages of food, medicines, gasoline and basic services. Since there are few prospects for socioeconomic growth in 2021, increased outflows are to be expected once borders re-open, but also through irregular cross-border movements.
Lack of access to basic needs and essential services, violations of rights, violence and insecurity, persecution of political opponents and protesters, as well as activism by armed groups and increased internal displacement may also be observed in 2021. The border states of Apure, Táchira and Zulia will continue to receive large numbers of people arriving from other parts of the country, mainly low-income families and unskilled workers, generating further strain on basic services and housing locally, compounded with deterioration in security, health and hygiene conditions.
The official number of refugees and asylum-seekers is expected to decrease, following the verification process of refugees and asylum-seekers conducted jointly by UNHCR and National Refugee Commission (CONARE per the acronym in Spanish).
Key prioritiesIn 2021, UNHCR will work within the framework of the Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) for people who spontaneously returned to the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, IDPs, people at risk of displacement, refugees, asylum-seekers, and people at risk of statelessness, who will require protection safeguards and humanitarian assistance. In support of the HRP, UNHCR will continue to play an active role in the inter-agency response to the pandemic.
In 2021, UNHCR plans to focus on:
- As leaders of the protection and shelter, energy and non-food item clusters, UNHCR will coordinate the response in border areas by enhancing the capacities of institutions, civil society organizations and communities to address the protection challenges and seek for solutions.
- Setting up a robust cash assistance strategy following preparatory steps conducted in 2020.
- Enhancing communication with communities and increasing numbers of mobile information desks to identify, counsel and refer persons at heightened risk, disseminating key messages on the prevention of fraud and protection against sexual exploitation and abuse.
- Prioritizing the delivery of individual assistance through core relief items and other material assistance, psychosocial support and legal assistance, particularly with a focus on survivors of gender-based violence.
- Providing institutional support mainly to the Ombudsperson´s Office and CONARE to ensure their interventions are in line with international human rights and refugee law standards.
- Strengthening the capacities of partners to deliver in a complex operational environment, given significant limitations and challenges in operating in border areas in particular.