Colombia is not ready to huge number of the Venezuelan refugees, Axios reported. According to experts, the scale of Venuzealan exodus now rivals Syria’s.
The number of Venezuelan refugees within its borders with Colombia is rising. The migration service says that it rise from an already staggering 1.4 million to 3 million by 2021 if the current crisis continues.
Ambassador Francisco Santos said during the briefing with the press “to be very sincere, if it goes to 3 million, we don’t have the money.” While he said Colombia’s handling of the crisis should be an example for the world, it is causing huge problems, especially budgeting the education and health sectors.
Phenomenon for Colombia
Too many Venezuelans need help right here, right now, Ambassador said. Neighbouring Latin American countries including Ecuador and Peru are taking steps to stem the flow of refugees but not Colombia. “With this government, with this president, that’s going to be the policy: open doors,” Santos stresses.
“With this government, with this president, that’s going to be the policy: open doors,” Santos stresses.
“Even the smallest town in Colombia has Venezuelan migrants, and a lot of them,” Santos says. In big cities like Bogotá, “the musicality of the language in the streets is changing.”
In fact, Colombia hasn’t seen a big immigration wave since arrivals from the Ottoman Empire more than a century ago, Santos says. But the current situation is astounding: local people are just welcoming Venezuelan refugees.
“We don’t know,” Santos admitted when asked how Colombia will handle this in the longer term. He said more aid was needed from the U.S. and Europe, as well as from international organizations.
United Arab Emirates Red Crescent is supporting more than 300,000 refugees in Colombia. Under Nicolas Maduro ruling, Venezuela has been gripped by political crisis, currency collapse. The power outages across the country became a new reality for people.
UN: Venezuela crisis is deepening
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees reported that, as of November 2018, more than 3 million of an estimated 32 million Venezuelans had fled their country since 2014. Many more not registered by authorities have also left.
Many Venezuelans in other countries remain in an irregular situation, which severely undermines their ability to obtain work permits, send their children to school, and access health care. This makes them vulnerable to exploitation and abuse.