United4Change Center (U4C) is proud to join the Hope For Venezuelan Refugees Project, a humanitarian project responding to the food insecurity affecting thousands of Venezuelan refugees, migrants, and walkers “caminantes” in Colombia led by Rotarian Cristal Montañéz Baylor from the Rotary e-Club of Houston. Entire families continue to flee Venezuela to escape violence, lack of job opportunities, food scarcity, lack of medicine, and essential services. The Venezuelan refugee exodus has become one of the biggest crises in the hemisphere and the world (UNHCR), second only to Syria.
Image by Diario El Tiempo
Access to food continues to be a priority for Venezuelan refugees, migrants, and walkers “caminantes” in Colombia. Every day, thousands of Venezuelan children, women, and men are forced to flee their country due to the devastating economic and humanitarian crisis resulting in the largest exodus in Latin America’s recent history and one of the world’s largest external displacements. Without money to buy food or medicines, most Venezuelans suffer from severe hunger, and many are dying from preventable diseases and malnutrition. The COVID-19 pandemic has worsened the food insecurity among vulnerable Venezuelans. Children, women, the elderly, and the sick are the most affected by this complex humanitarian emergency. The challenge and the number one priority to save lives, is to ensure that Venezuelans have access to food. The World Food Program (WFP) of the United Nations stated, “the primary drivers for migration are the lack of access to food, employment, medicine, and functioning health services.”
ABOUT THE PROJECT
The Hope For Venezuelan Refugees is a humanitarian project created to help alleviate hunger affecting thousands of vulnerable Venezuelan refugees, migrants, walkers “caminantes,” and Colombian returnees on the Cúcuta-Pamplona route. With the support and donation of Rise Against Hunger (RAH) meals and locally produced commodities provided to existing food distribution centers and shelters, volunteers prepare, cook, and distribute meals for this migrant population.
Thanks to this Project, more 859,000 meals have been distributed to this migrant population through the selected food distribution centers since the its inception in January 2019 through March 2021. Personal protection equipment (PPE), portable handwash stations, face masks, cleaning, and disinfectant supplies are being distributed as part of our efforts to help prevent the propagation of COVID-19 on the Cúcuta-Pamplona humanitarian route. The Hope For Venezuelan Refugees project was initiated by the Rotary e-Club of Houston, in partnership with the Rotary Club of Cúcuta, other Rotary Clubs, Rise Against Hunger (RAH), and allied organizations, that joined efforts to implement, facilitate, and manage the project.
U4C is proud to join the Hope For Venezuelan Refugees team to support the continuation of the Project and the Venezuelan refugees fundamental human right of access to food.
Photos & Videos by volunteers.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
The Hope For Venezuelan Refugees team is initiating a new phase (Phase 5) of the Project to continue alleviating hunger affecting Venezuelan refugees, migrants, and walkers “caminantes” in-transit through the Cúcuta-Pamplona humanitarian route. Our volunteers on the ground are working tirelessly to respond to this emergency; however, our efforts are very limited, and a larger-scale intervention is urgently needed due to the magnitude of the crisis.
We cannot do this alone. Your donation can provide nutritional “soup meals” to hundreds of walkers “caminantes” at Food Distributions Centers that need the most.
Photos & Videos by volunteers.
What is a Refugee?
A refugee is someone who has been forced to flee his or her country because of persecution, war or violence. A refugee has a well-founded fear of persecution for reasons of race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership in a particular social group. Most likely, they cannot return home or are afraid to do so. War and ethnic, tribal and religious violence are leading causes of refugees fleeing their countries. 68% of those displaced across borders come from just five countries: Syria, Venezuela, Afghanistan, South Sudan and Myanmar. (Source: The UN Refugee Agency UNHCR)
Venezuelans in Colombia
Although not representative, in Colombia, 85% of people in transit (which includes caminantes) surveyed by GIFMM said that their principal need was food (GIFMM last accessed 22/12/2020). Approximately 33% of people in transit surveyed for a REACH rapid needs assessment said they had to skip one meal a day, 35% responded that they skipped two, and 10% said they had less than one meal a day (REACH 24/10/2020)
Hope For Venezuelan Refugees Project By U4C Team Approximately five million refugees and migrants have left Venezuela as a result of the political turmoil, socio-economic instability and the ongoing humanitarian crisis – triggering the largest external displacement...