More international engagement needed in Brazil areas hosting Venezuelans: UN refugee chief

Source: Xinhua| 2019-08-20 02:23:52|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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GENEVA, Aug. 19 (Xinhua) -- UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi has appealed for increased international engagement, including by financial institutions and development actors, in communities hosting Venezuelan refugees and migrants in Brazil.

"The solidarity of the people of Brazil with the Venezuelan refugees and migrants has been exemplary," UNHCR quoted Grandi as saying in a statement on Monday here.

Grandi, who concluded a four-day visit to Brazil, has said on Sunday in the Brazilian capital that the impact, however, on the host communities in states such as Roraima and Amazonas, had been overwhelming.

He was told that in some border communities, 40 percent of patients and 80 percent of women giving birth in hospitals are from Venezuela.

There was a similar impact on education, employment, housing, and social services.

"It is vital that efforts by the authorities at the federal, state and municipal levels, as well as by civil society, Church groups, and ordinary Brazilians, are adequately supported by the international community," said the UN refugee agency chief.

There are over 180,000 Venezuelan refugees and migrants in Brazil, said UNHCR.

An average of 500 of them arrive daily - most in urgent need of humanitarian assistance - in the economically poor northern state of Roraima, geographically isolated from the rest of the country.

Latin American countries have received the vast majority of the more than 4 million Venezuelan refugees, and migrants, said UNHCR.

If the current trend continues, more than 5 million refugees and migrants could be outside Venezuela by the end of 2019.

Grandi's appeal for more international support is in line with the Global Compact on Refugees that calls for greater support to refugees and the communities that host them, which are often among the poorest, said UNHCR.