Regional Strategic Directions on Public Health 2022-2025 – Regional Office for the Americas – Global


1. Introduction

The Americas region hosts more than 18.4 million refugees, asylum seekers, internally displaced persons and stateless persons, representing some 20 percent of people of concern to UNHCR worldwide. Over the past two years, the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on refugees and migrants in host communities, including loss of livelihoods, increased evictions, engagement in negative coping mechanisms, discrimination and xenophobia. Compounded further by limited access to regularization and documentation in some countries, these impacts have contributed to further movements of people seeking protection and/or better opportunities elsewhere.

The region is characterized by three main displacement situations:

I. Situation in Venezuela: At the end of 2021, the number of refugees and migrants from the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela exceeded six million worldwide. Nearly 83% of them are hosted in Latin America and the Caribbean. Over 186,000 have been recognized as refugees and over 952,000 have applied for asylum. A further 2.6 million people in the region have obtained some form of residency or regular stay permit.

ii. Colombia Status: Colombia has registered more than 1.8 million applicants for temporary protected status from Venezuelans. Some 1.2 million of them have completed their biometric registration and more than 300,000 have been approved and received their documentation. More than 8 million people are internally displaced, despite the Colombian government’s efforts to combat armed violence, the National Victim Registry recorded more than 130,000 newly displaced people in Colombia in 2021.

iii. Situation in Northern Central America (NCA): In 2021, an increasing number of people were forced from their homes in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. There are now almost 600,000 asylum seekers and refugees from these countries, mainly in Costa Rica, Mexico and the United States of America. It is estimated that around 320,000 people are internally displaced in El Salvador and Honduras, although the actual number may be higher.

The root causes of displacement in the NCA are multiple and interrelated: widespread violence, territorial control by criminal organizations and gangs, fragile institutions, the impact of climate change and deep-rooted inequalities – all compounded by the socio-economic consequences of the pandemic. of COVID-19.

The displaced refugee and migrant population in the Americas is predominantly an urban population, with some of the population moving frequently between countries, further compounding their vulnerabilities and impacting access to health care, including the continuum care. This population continues to suffer the consequences of its exodus and its uprooting, further aggravated by the conditions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Previous Happy 100th birthday to Norman Lear! | Chaz's Diary
Next The Data Economics Company and Syzygy Publishing's Chris Ryall Announce Content Partnership