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Start Fund responds to cross-border displacement of people from Venezuela

  • by Fatima Khonat
  • 29 Oct 18

Blog Post

As Venezuela deepens in crisis thousands flee every day to reach nearby countries.

Hyperinflation and economic insecurity coupled with food and medical shortages have left millions of Venezuelans in grinding poverty and sparked a dramatic increase in the number of people leaving Venezuela in desperation to countries in South America, including Peru and Ecuador.

The Start Fund is filling a funding gap in this under-funded socio-economic crisis to respond to the needs of those displaced.

Cross-displacement country: Peru

Currently Venezuelan displaced people in Peru number 451,427, which makes Peru host to the second largest number of Venezuelans after Colombia. These people mostly arrive in a deteriorated state of health, having gone without food for several days, with little or no economic resources and left unable to cover the most basic needs for themselves and their families.

The Start Fund was alerted to this cross-border displacement on the 3rd of October by World Vision, Care International, and Save the Children, and members agreed to activate the alert the following day. Within 72 hours, funding was awarded to Save the Children and World Vision in a consortium with Care International to fill a gap in this under-funded humanitarian context and respond to the most urgent, life-saving needs of those displaced.

Both Save the Children and the World Vision consortium are providing cash vouchers for shelter and purchasing of essential items to those displaced. Through the World Vision consortium displaced women, children and their families are receiving dignity kits, which include nappies, sanitary towels and other essential items.

Cross-displacement country: Ecuador

Venezuela’s political and socio-economic crisis continues to drive displacement of Venezuelan people. To reach Ecuador, Venezuelans cross through Colombia; a country of both destination and transit.

A cross-border displacement spike in August 2018, during which time more than 6,000 people per day entered the country, severely stretched the Ecuadorian government's capacity to deal with the influx of those displaced. Although the average number of displaced people arriving in Ecuador has dropped to 2,500 a day, the crisis shows little sign of abating. Those displaced do not have the means or resources to meet even their most basic needs

The Start Fund was alerted to this cross-border displacement on the 20th of October by World Vision, Care International, Norwegian Refugee Council and Plan International. Within 72 hours funding was awarded to World Vision and Care International on a joint rapid emergency response, in Tulcán (Ecu-Col border) and the country’s capital Quito.

With a long-established presence in the area, and expertise of working with displaced communities both Care International and World Vision are providing cash vouchers for shelter and essential items to displaced families.

Incredibly marginalised and vulnerable in this crisis, women and children will receive special attention during outreach to ensure they are empowered with the right information to protect themselves and their families.

Over the past four years, the Start Fund has responded to two previous crises in Ecuador and one in Peru. The Start Fund provides rapid financing to underfunded small to medium scale crises, spikes in chronic humanitarian crises, and to act in anticipation of impending crises, filling a critical gap in humanitarian financing.

Read more about Start Fund alert 267, displacement of people from Venezeula in Peru and also alert 277 for cross-border displacement Ecuador. 

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  • by Fatima Khonat