UNICEF says an estimated 1.1 million Venezuelan children are going to need “protection and access to basic services across Latin America and the Caribbean in 2019.”
That number includes children who have been uprooted from Venezuela as well as returnees and those living in host and transit communities.
That projection, the U.N. children’s agency said in a statement Friday, is in addition to the nearly half a million children currently in need of “essential services like protection, healthcare, and education in host and transit countries” that are already feeling the strain of the additional children.
UNICEF said its regional humanitarian partners – Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Panama, Peru and Trinidad and Tobago – estimate as many as 4.9 million people — adults and children — will need assistance this year because of the political and economic upheavals in Venezuela that are forcing the country’s citizens to flee.
The agency has appealed for $69.5 million to meet the needs of the uprooted Venezuelan children who are living in the region.
Maria Cristina Perceval, the UNICEF regional director for Latin America and the Caribbean, said “UNICEF is encouraged by Governments’ efforts to jointly seek regional solutions to the challenges posed by large-scale migration that are inline with international standards and national laws, such as the protocol adopted by Ecuador to protect uprooted children.”
UNICEF said, however, that it is “particularly concerned about reports of xenophobia, discrimination and violence perpetrated against Venezuelan children and families in host communities.”