Joint IOM - UNHCR Press Release - USD 1.35 billion Needed to Help Venezuelan Refugees and Migrants and Host Countries

Date Publish: 

Geneva, 13 November –The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) will today launch a USD 1.35 billion regional plan to respond to the increasing humanitarian needs of Venezuelan refugees and migrants in Latin America and the Caribbean, and the communities hosting them. 

As of early November 2019, there were approximately 4.6 million refugees and migrants from Venezuela around the world. Nearly 80 per cent are in Latin American and Caribbean countries - with no prospect for return in the short to medium term. If current trends continue, 6.5 million Venezuelans could be outside the country by the end of 2020. 

The 2020 Regional Refugee and Migrant Response Plan (RMRP) being launched in the Colombian capital, Bogotá, is a coordination and a fundraising tool established and implemented by 137 organizations. These are working across the region, aiming to reach almost four million people - including Venezuelan refugees and migrants and host communities - in 17 countries. 

The 2020 RMRP is the result of a wide-ranging field-driven consultation process involving host governments, civil society and faith-based organizations, local communities and donors, as well as refugees and migrants themselves. 

The plan includes actions in nine key sectors: health; education; food security; integration; protection; nutrition; shelter; relief items and humanitarian transport; and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH). In addition to the emergency response, the 2020 RMRP puts a strong focus on ensuring the social and economic inclusion of refugees and migrants. 

“Only through a coordinated and harmonized approach will it be possible to effectively address the large-scale needs, which continue to increase and evolve as the current crisis deepens,” said Eduardo Stein, Joint UNHCR-IOM Special Representative for Venezuelan refugees and migrants.  

“To this end, the RMRP appeal for 2020 is one of the key instruments to mobilize resources for more collective and concerted action.” 

“Despite many efforts and other initiatives, the dimension of the problem is greater than the current response capacity, so it is necessary that the international community doubles these efforts and contributions to help the countries and international organizations responding to the crisis,” Stein said. “More support to governments is needed, with a focus on development concerns in addition to immediate humanitarian needs.”  

The RMRP 2020 is the product of the Regional Interagency Coordination Platform, the coordination mechanism for the response to the Venezuelan refugee and migrant crisis, is co-led by UNHCR and IOM and involving a wide range of UN, NGO and civil society organizations.  

The RMRP 2020 plan will be available at 16:00 Bogotá time (22:00 CET) at the portal

For more information contact: 

In Geneva: 

Paul Dillon, IOM ( +41 79 636 9874 

Liz Throssell, UNHCR ( +41 79 3377591  

In Buenos Aires: 

Juliana Quintero, IOM ( +54 1132488134) 

In Panama:  

William Spindler, UNHCR ( +507 63827815 

Olga Sarrado, UNHCR ( +507 6640 0185 


For background information please consult the Regional Inter-Agency Coordination Platform website

Venezuela, venezuelans

World Day Against Trafficking in Persons 2020

Date Publish: 
30 / 07 / 2020

António Vitorino

Director General, International Organization for Migration (IOM) 

World Day Against Trafficking in Persons 

 30 July 2020 


This year is the twentieth anniversary of the UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime, and its historic Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children. 

We are half-way through a very difficult year for everyone, and our contemporary challenges have had a severe impact on people’s vulnerability to trafficking and exploitation. 

IOM was implementing counter-trafficking interventions in accordance with human rights principles long before the Palermo Protocol gave us the clearly defined parameters that we know today. And likewise, our interventions have evolved over time as new forms of trafficking have emerged. 

We have learned, as have governments, that it is imperative to partner with the private sector, trade unions, supply chain auditors, and recruitment agencies to put in place practices to reduce the risks of trafficking and exploitation. 

As we embark upon a new decade, the world is now confronted with perhaps our biggest challenge to counter-trafficking – that of a pandemic, that has in addition brought severe restrictions to mobility, impacted livelihoods, and limited access to vulnerable people. COVID-19 has brought a devastating impact upon the household security and health of billions of people all over the world, which inevitably heightens vulnerability and risk of exploitation, whether it is job-seekers taking hazardous journeys, families relying on child labour for survival, or the marriage of young daughters in a desperate attempt to relieve economic strain. 

Now, as we have always done, the anti-trafficking community must evolve and adapt to this new crisis, finding innovative ways to identify trends, to screen for vulnerabilities, to support States while advocating for human rights and the prevention of abuse, and to seek safe and viable options for those who will remain on the move.  Let's move into this direction together, as united we are stronger!