Argentina Multi-Country Office
The UNHCR multi-country office for Southern Latin America based in Buenos Aires covers operations in Argentina, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay. UNHCR's activities in Peru were covered under the Regional Office for Latin America until the end of 2018.
Operation: Argentina Multi-Country Office
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|2021 planning figures|
|40,000||individuals will receive cash and/or in-kind (non-food items kits, hygiene kits, winterization etc.) assistance to cover their basic needs|
|35,000||people of concern will benefit from interventions designed to foster, promote and support socioeconomic and financial inclusion, entrepreneurship, as well as access to the labour market|
|32,400||people of concern will benefit from protection services such as legal assistance, psychosocial support, information and referrals to specialized services|
|30||strategic cooperation agreements will be expanded through the Cities of Solidarities programme, together with Chamber of Commerce, line ministries and the private sector to improve protection services and in line with the Office’s durable solutions strategy 2020-2023|
|2019 Year-End Results|
|2,800||individuals participated in tailored trainings focused on labor market insertion, financial inclusion and entrepreneurship opportunities facilitated by UNHCR in cooperation with private sector partners|
|2,300||of the most vulnerable people of concern received multipurpose cash transfers and vouchers to meet essential needs|
|2,000||people were assisted with transitional shelter in Chile|
|1,550||people (mostly Venezuelan women and children) received warm clothes and blankets|
|1,000||people benefitted from protection services, such as legal information and orientation, primary health care and access to the internet in the “attention and orientation points” established in Argentina and the Plurinational State of Bolivia|
|450||Syrian refugees were resettled to Argentina|
People of Concern
Argentina Multi-Country Office
Operational environmentBy the end of 2020, approximately 700,000 refugees, asylum-seekers and other people of concern to UNHCR, will be hosted in the Southern Cone. Of these, 95% are Venezuelans, many of whom lack a regular status. As conditions in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela further deteriorated in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and as a result of COVID-19-related restrictions, the population in need of protection, assistance and socioeconomic inclusion is also expected to increase, possibly surpassing 750,000 people in 2021 according to the Refugee and Migrant Response Plan 2021.
The pandemic exacerbated an already difficult economic context in the sub-region, with prolonged confinements resulting in increasing poverty, as well as additional strain on already overstretched social support systems and services. Xenophobia in on the rise in some countries, mainly due to increased competition for limited employment opportunities, and it is expected that many refugees and migrants will find themselves without valid documentation, and at risk of exposure to increased protection concerns such as evictions, (labour) exploitation and abuse.
Access to territory will likely become more restrictive due to saturated asylum systems, which is expected to result in increasing irregular movements. Faced with these difficult conditions, receiving countries will reduce options for dignified living conditions and sustainable livelihoods, making lifesaving assistance combined with self-reliance strategies even more urgent. In particular elderly persons, persons with disabilities, and other vulnerable people will require targeted interventions as their options for integration in the labour market, and access to social systems are limited due to a lack of documentation.
As part of the recommendations of the Global Compact on Refugees, UNHCR in the Southern Cone is mainstreaming a multi-stakeholder approach and reinforcing innovative solutions for responsibility sharing and inclusion. This means working in cooperation with municipalities under the Cities of Solidarity framework and other actors, as academia at national and local levels in order to shape public policies. Moreover, close coordination across the UN system, as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, will reinforce UNHCR’s partnership strategy.
Key prioritiesIn 2021 the UNHCR operations in the Southern Cone will focus on:
- Delivering humanitarian assistance covering basic needs for some 40,000 extremely vulnerable individuals, including families with children, single-headed households, gender-based violence survivors, LGBTIQ+ people and elderly people, to provide temporary shelter, food and non-food items.
- Reinforcing identification, assistance and referrals of individuals with protection needs, especially in border areas for over 32,000 people, and where necessary support family reunification.
- Ensuring strategic interventions with national and local governments, the private sector and Cities of Solidarity to advocate socioeconomic and financial inclusion for some 15,000 individuals and with the objective to systematically include people of concern to UNHCR in public policies and national social support systems.
- Providing targeted interventions to ensure access to the labour market and entrepreneurial opportunities for some 20,000 individuals.
- Empowering communities and grass-root civil society organizations to establish sustainable mechanisms for self-reliance and inclusion.
- Working with communities and influencers to raise awareness through communication, outreach and anti-xenophobia campaigns.
- Strengthening inter-agency coordination for an efficient response.