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REPORT | UNHCR: Critical Needs in the Americas, August 2023

UNHCR | August 18, 2023



August 2023

The Americas faces five overlapping displacement situations including in and from Colombia, Venezuela, Central America and Mexico, Nicaragua, and Haiti. This is coupled with the challenges posed by large population movements, which have grown in scale and complexity over the years. Now, one in every five people with and for whom UNHCR works worldwide lives in the Americas. Over 7.24 million refugees and migrants from Venezuela have left their homes, of whom more than six million are in Latin America and the Caribbean. Other people with and for whom UNHCR works include over 7.4 million IDPs in Colombia (Underfunded Report: The implications of underfunding UNHCR’s activities in 2023 | Global Focus), El Salvador, Honduras, and Mexico, and some 285,000 asylum-seekers and refugees from Nicaragua throughout the region, in addition to 636,000 asylum-seekers and refugees from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala.

In 2022, the region experienced a significant escalation in mixed and onward movements, with almost 250,000 people crossing Darien between Colombia and Panama on route to the United States. This escalation has led to a rise in humanitarian needs and placed additional strain on already overstretched reception capacities, shelter networks and host communities.

Despite the growing needs, funding for UNHCR in the Americas has been insufficient with less funding secured in 2022 ($355 million) compared to 2021 ($436 million). With the current projections, UNHCR expects $277 million by the end of 2023 while the total needs amount to $827 million.

Some of the most pressing needs remain unmet due to inadequate funding. Lack of funding will significantly compromise access to documentation, healthcare, protection services and emergency shelter for the people with and for whom UNHCR works. While innovative solutions to ensure long-term resilience of forcibly displaced people are being pursued, cash assistance is critical in helping them meet essential needs and avoid relying on harmful coping mechanisms. Supporting governments in preventing forced displacement and delivering protection responses remains also critical.

This report looks at six operations where funding has fallen furthest behind the needs projected by the end of December 2023 and provides some examples of where support is urgently needed.

To download the report, please click here.