3 mln refugees, migrants have left Venezuela: UN agencies

Source: Xinhua| 2018-11-09 00:30:10|Editor: yan
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GENEVA, Nov. 8 (Xinhua) -- United Nations agencies said here Thursday that the number of refugees and migrants from Venezuela worldwide has now reached three million.

The UN refugee agency UNHCR and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) made the statement, citing data from national immigration authorities and other sources.

Countries in Latin America and the Caribbean host an estimated 2.4 million refugees and migrants from Venezuela, while other regions account for the rest.

Colombia hosts the highest number of Venezuelans, over one million, followed by Peru, with over half a million; Ecuador, over 220,000; Argentina, 130,000; Chile, over 100,000 and Brazil, with 85,000. Panama also has 94,000 Venezuelans.

The statement quoted Eduardo Stein, UNHCR-IOM Joint Special Representative for Refugees and Migrants from Venezuela as saying, "Countries in Latin America and the Caribbean have largely maintained a commendable open-door policy to refugees and migrants from Venezuela."

However, he warned, "their reception capacity is severely strained, requiring a more robust and immediate response from the international community if this generosity and solidarity are to continue."

With rising numbers, the needs of refugees and migrants from Venezuela and the communities hosting them have also significantly increased.

The UN agencies said governments in the region are leading the humanitarian response and coordinating their efforts, including through the Quito process.

This has been an important step towards a regional approach to scale up the response and harmonize policies. The second Quito meeting of governments from the region will take place on Nov. 22 and 23.