Melanie Teff and Daphne Panayotatos
Living under the government of President Nicolás Maduro, Venezuelans face political repression, extreme shortages of food and medicine, lack of social services, and economic collapse. Three million of them – or about 10 percent of the population – have fled the country. The vast majority have sought refuge in the Americas, where host states are struggling with the unprecedented influx.
Various actors have sought to respond to this rapidly emerging crisis. The UN set up the Regional Inter-Agency Coordination Platform for Refugees and Migrants from Venezuela, introducing a new model for agency coordination across the region. This Regional Platform, co-led by the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), has established a network of subsidiary National Platforms in the major host countries to coordinate the response on the ground. At the regional level, the Organization of American States (OAS) established a Working Group to Address the Regional Crisis of Venezuelan Migrants and Refugees. Latin American states have come together through the Quito Process – a series of diplomatic meetings designed to help coordinate the response of countries in the region to the crisis. Donors, including the United States, have provided bilateral assistance.