UNICEF LACRO Humanitarian Situation Report No. 1 (Children on the Move including Venezuelans, and other crisis
HomeHome > Blog > UNICEF LACRO Humanitarian Situation Report No. 1 (Children on the Move including Venezuelans, and other crisis

UNICEF LACRO Humanitarian Situation Report No. 1 (Children on the Move including Venezuelans, and other crisis

Aug 28, 2023

Colombia + 13 more


Latin America and the Caribbean faces overlapping complex emergencies including migration, violence, civil unrest and climate change. These have compounded people's exclusion and vulnerabilities, leaving 16.6 million people (5.4 million children) in need of humanitarian assistance.

UNICEF support to affected children and families comprises access to education, protection, WASH, health and nutrition services, gender-based violence (GBV) prevention and social protection services (including cash transfers), across ten countries. UNICEF has reached over 237,000 children with education opportunities, 60,000 children and caregivers with psychosocial support, 29,000 children and women with primary health care, 37,000 people with WASH supplies and services, and 87,000 people with critical information.

Brazil declared a public health emergency in the Yanomami Indigenous Territory due to malnutrition rates, prevalence of malaria and stretched health services. UNICEF supports the Government's humanitarian response in health, nutrition, water, WASH and child protection.


5,400,000 Children in need of humanitarian assistance

16,600,000 People in need of humanitarian assistance


As of June 2023, UNICEF has USD 32.5 million available: USD 8.5 million carried over from 2022 and USD 23.9 million received in 2023. Critical funding received to start the humanitarian response in 2023 includes a flexible contribution from the Bureau for Population, Refugees and Migration and the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) to address the needs of migrants and refugees, and host communities across all countries as a part of the appeal, as well as vulnerable populations in need of support in Colombia. Allocations from UNICEF Global Humanitarian Thematic Funds were also made to support the humanitarian response. The results achieved so far would not have been possible without the continued support from key partners, nevertheless with a funding gap of 80 per cent additional flexible funds are urgently needed to ensure capacity to adapt programming to the different countries’ priorities; establish adapted mechanisms to identify and assess the situation of children in need; and further expand UNICEF’s presence and integration efforts. A prolonged gap in funding hinders UNICEF’s capacity to respond to existing and emerging needs in a timely manner.


The LAC region has witnessed one of the largest refugee and migration crises in the world, largely due to the protracted socioeconomic and political context in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. According to the Regional Interagency Coordination Platform for Refugees and Migrants of Venezuela (R4V), more than 7 million people have migrated from the country and around 6 million migrants and refugees are living in the region, including children requiring protection and assistance. Colombia and Peru continued to host the largest number of Venezuelan migrants and refugees totaling 4 million, followed by Ecuador, Chile and Brazil.

During the reporting period, a number of LAC countries continued to implement regularization processes and provide migration amnesties for migrants and refugees who entered the country irregularly. The Temporary Protected Status for Venezuelan Migrants (Estatuto de Protección Temporal para Migrantes Venezolanos) approved in Colombia in 2021, continued to reach migrants and refugees. In Ecuador, the registration and regularization process carried out by the national government until June 30, has reached more than 230,000 people. According to the R4V, approximately 181,000 people have obtained a certificate of registration of permanence, 56,000 have received the exceptional temporary residence visa and 47,000 have obtained an identity card.

Despite ongoing efforts undertaken by some Governments in the region to provide regularization opportunities to Venezuelan migrant and refugees, tighter immigration measures taken by other countries such as Peru (the second largest host country) and Chile, generated significant changes in migration dynamics. In February, the Congress of Chile approved a law in which borders are considered ‘critical infrastructure’, allowing the Armed Forces to exercise movement control activities in such zones. In consequence, Chile deployed Armed Forces troops in Tarapacá Region, as part of the new law’s implementation. Furthermore, the Peruvian Government declared a state of emergency in seven border departments in April and ordered the deployment of its Armed Forces. Due to these measures, the number of migrants stranded on the Peru - Chile border exceeded 400 people (30 per cent children and adolescents) during some days in April, without the most basic living conditions. These situations undermine migrants and refugees’ access to essential services and exacerbates their humanitarian needs. Additionally, during 2023, there has been a significant increase in the number of refugees and migrants engaging in onward movements among different countries. The lift of the United Stated border management policy known as Title 42, impacted the migration trends in the Region. According to the R4V April – June report on movements, exits from Colombia to Panama dropped in May – June. However, northward movements via Central America towards the USA have spiked again in the same period. In July, the monthly irregular entries to Panama via Darien reached approximately 55,000 refugees and migrants, of whom 69 per cent were Venezuelans, followed by Ecuadorians and Haitians among other nationalities.

In Colombia, according to the Humanitarian Needs Overview (HNO) 2023, an estimated 7.7 million people, including 2.3 million children, are expected to have humanitarian needs (PIN) in 2023 and to require complementary assistance from humanitarian actors, due to the humanitarian impacts caused by the climate variability, and to events related to the internal armed conflict. Regarding other crisis in the LAC Region, the Government of Brazil declared a public health emergency on 20 January 2023 in the Yanomami Indigenous Territory (Terra Indigena Yanomami – TIY) due to a humanitarian crisis with a high rate of child malnutrition, high prevalence of malaria cases and stretched local health services.