UNICEF has approximated that about 327,000 kids from Venezuelan living in Colombia are deemed as refugees and are in need of protection, health, education, and support for their overall well-being.
The political and economic crisis in Venezuela has led to a migration of around 3 million Venezuelans to Colombia, Brazil, Peru, Ecuador and other nations in the region. Out of this figure, 1.2 million are in Colombia, living in susceptible host communities with overstrained resources. In times when anti-immigrant views are advancing globally, Colombia has openly accommodated their neighbors from Venezuela.
UNICEF Director of Communication, Paloma Escudero, has just completed his four-day visit in Cucuta. He said that at a time when households painfully decide to flee their homes in Venezuela, the global community ought to step up and offer support to meet their essential needs.
Women and Children are most Vulnerable due to Inaccessibility to Healthcare
Escudero spoke to immigrants at the Simon Bolivar Bridge. The refugees travel every day to access health care, schools and take food to their households back at home. The Director further narrated how he came across a mother who was 8 months pregnant and had epilepsy. She needed to travel to Colombia to access prenatal checkups in order to safeguard both her and her baby’s health. For the majority of the families, leaving is only a resort.
The Kids also Need Education
During his visit to the center, Escudero met other women and children who walked for hours to obtain prenatal examinations, getting their kids vaccine at no cost. Colombia also provides education to Venezuelan children immigrants at no charge. About 130, 000 Venezuelan kids are absorbed in schools in Colombia which is higher than last years’ 30,000. Close to 3000 of these kids travel from Venezuela daily to attend school. The crisis has worsened as many Venezuelan parents have taken their children across the border to pursue education.