Security & Strategic Review - October 2021

REGION: Efforts intensify to integrate Venezuelan migrants

The number of Venezuelan migrants to have fled their country’s simultaneous economic, social, and political crises since 2015 is now over 5.7m, according to figures released by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on 8 September. That places Venezuela second only to Syria in the UNHCR’s global ranking of external displacement. Over half of these migrants have settled in the neighbouring Andean nations of Colombia, Peru, and Ecuador, where the new arrivals have provoked a wide spectrum of reactions. An influx of Venezuelans has proved fertile ground for nationalistic populist politicians, a number of whom have tried to hitch their wagons to a xenophobic public backlash. Integration strategies are now gaining pace, however, with Colombia’s President Iván Duque garnering international praise for his pledge to formalise the status of 1m Venezuelans by the end of this year.

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