In Venezuela, people are faced with hyperinflation, the struggle to find basic necessities, the lack of medicines and access to medical services, in addition to a rise in crime rates. Many Colombians, formerly settled in Venezuela for economic reasons, have decided to go back home while many Venezuelans chose to migrate to neighboring Colombia, a country that has hosted so far about 1.2 million migrants.
Venezuelans migrate from the border to major cities in Colombia, or transit through them during their journey to other countries in the region. They walk along the roads, often with no means or possessions. One of the main routes for those travelling to Bogotá or Medellín goes through Bucaramanga. This road is used every day by hundreds of walkers – called the Caminantes – between 400 and 800 depending on the day.
This journey is very rudimentary; it is very dangerous because people in transit risk being subjected to extrusion, violence, theft, forced recruitment, sexual or sexist violence, or exploitation or forced labor (according to HCR).
As a result, there is a critical need to meet basic needs due to lack of housing, limited access to safe drinking water, lack of sanitation and protection in shelters along this road.
- 49.65 million of inhabitants
- 27% poverty rate
- 122nd out of 189 countries on the Human Development Index
opened in 2019
Only four shelters located on this road can host the Caminantes, but they do not have enough means and infrastructure to meet the demand. Solidarités International, in consortium with Première Urgence Internationale, is in priority conducting support activities with these four shelters to fill their gaps, with a particular focus on access to water, sanitation and hygiene. This is being implemented through rehabilitation operations, infrastructure construction for water supply, decent, safe and functional sanitary facilities, or through the rehabilitation of sanitation infrastructure.
This will allow the migrants to take shelter during their transit in a healthy, dignified and safe refuge.
Should you have any questions, please contact Thierry Benlahsen,
At head office