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UN Refugee Chief calls for more engagement in areas of Brazil hosting Venezuelans

(Brasilia, 19/09/2019) UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi concluded a four-day visit to Brazil with an urgent appeal for increased international engagement, including by financial institutions and development actors, in the communities hosting Venezuelan refugees and migrants.

“The solidarity of the people of Brazil with the Venezuelan refugees and migrants has been exemplary. But the impact on the host communities in states such as Roraima and Amazonas, has been overwhelming,” said Grandi, speaking from the Brazilian capital on Sunday.

There are over 180,000 Venezuelan refugees and migrants in Brazil. An average of 500 arrive daily – most in urgent need of humanitarian assistance – in the northern state of Roraima, which is geographically isolated from the rest of the country and has the lowest per capita income and few economic opportunities.  

To respond to the humanitarian needs created by the influx from Venezuela, the Federal Government launched an initiative (Operacao Acolhida) coordinated by the Brazilian Armed Forces, to provide registration and documentation upon arrival, as well as emergency humanitarian assistance, including food and temporary shelter.

Before arriving in Brazil, Grandi visited Chile, where he thanked the people and Government for the efforts made to receive and provide support to over 400,000 refugees and migrants from Venezuela.

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