EU contributes EUR 1.7 million to support UNICEF’s humanitarian response for children affected by the Venezuela migration crisis

09 August 2019
© UNICEF/UN0330459/Párraga
UNICEF/UN0330459/Párraga

PANAMA/BRUSSELS, 12 August 2019 - The European Union (EU) has contributed EUR 1.7 million to bring relief to the most vulnerable migrant children and host families in four countries of the region, namely Colombia, Ecuador, Perú and Trinidad & Tobago.

At least 1.1 million children across the region are estimated to be in need of humanitarian assistance in 2019, as the number of refugees and migrants from Venezuela has already surpassed the 4 million mark.

The European Commission - Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations announced the humanitarian funding for immediate support in protection, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), and education for children and families affected by the migration crisis in Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Trinidad & Tobago; in addition, to support for improved coordination among partners responding across the region.

The contribution by EU humanitarian aid will enable UNICEF to boost critical actions including improved access to water and sanitation in host communities and border sites; establishment and operation of child friendly spaces, prevention of violence, abuse and exploitation, including Gender Based Violence; and services on Early Childhood Development and non-formal learning activities, among others.

Moreover, in view of the recent developments regarding special migration policies in the region, with EU support, UNICEF will work in coordination with UNHCR, IOM and the MERCOSUR Institute of Human Rights Public Policy, in the development of regional guidelines for protection of migrant children.

According to the most recent figures, Colombia has the highest number of Venezuelan refugees and migrants, with more than 1.4 million, followed by Peru with 806,000 and Ecuador with 263,000. Trinidad & Tobago has received more than 40,000 migrants from Venezuela in the past three years.

“Thousands of children are being affected by the migration crisis. This funding will provide lifesaving assistance to the uprooted children from Venezuela and those living in host and transit communities. Our response keeps making a difference in the life of children as it involves ensuring their access to safe drinking water and sanitation, protection and education, among others”, said Marita Perceval, UNICEF Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean. 

“The European Union has assisted Latin America and Caribbean in all recent emergencies. We will continue to help vulnerable people in this region for as long as it takes. This funding is part our efforts to help returnees, refugees and Venezuelan migrant children in neighboring countries. UNICEF is a key EU partner addressing the humanitarian needs of those affected by the crisis,” said Christos Stylianides, European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management.

Funding gaps, however, threaten to leave thousands of children without access to humanitarian response. The United Nations Children’s Fund aims to keep vulnerable children across the region protected, with access to safe drinking water, healthy and in school.

Media contacts

Alfonso Fernández Reca
Regional Communication Specialist
UNICEF Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean
Tel: +507 69412277,
Ruth Silva
Regional Communication Assistant
ECHO Latin America and the Caribbean
Tel: +507 6749 7407

About UNICEF 
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.

For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org/lac.

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About EU Humanitarian aid

EU humanitarian assistance is allocated following a strict needs based approach, respecting the humanitarian principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality, and independence. It seeks to alleviate human suffering without any political, economic or other consideration.

For more information about ECHO in South America, visit: https://ec.europa.eu/echo/