Sheltering Venezuelan refugees in their transit journey through Ecuador

Region: Americas
Country: Ecuador
Year: 2019
Shelter: RHU
Project size: 51-100
Modality: Temporary shelter
Sector: Shelter
Partner: United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
Support: Capacity Building, Communications

Since 2014, over 4 million Venezuelans have fled to bordering countries to escape from violence, economic insecurity and lack of basic services. The majority of the Venezuelans enter Ecuador only by passing to continue their journey towards Peru and Chile. However, in 2018 Ecuador hosted over 256,265 displaced Venezuelans.

UNHCR and its partner the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) provided blankets and emergency assistance to Venezuelans arriving in Ecuador from Colombia. In the first 5months of 2019, close to a quarter of a million refugees and migrants from Venezuela have entered Ecuador, with the vast majority entering through the land border with Colombia. Around 1,650 arrive daily, often dehydrated, exhausted and with health issues. UNHCR estimates that around 30% travelled on foot for at least part of their trip, making them vulnerable to robbery, violence and trafficking networks.

In support of their operations in Ecuador and the Americas region, UNHCR implemented 96 Better shelter Relief Housing Units (RHU) to support migrants and refugees on their journey, whether through or to Ecuador. The shelters were used to temporarily house the migrant population.

Read more about UNHCR’s efforts in Ecuador here.