• Crisis Severity ?
    2.2
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Impact ?
    2.4
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Humanitarian Conditions ?
    2.4
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Complexity ?
    1.8
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Access Constraints ?
    2.0
    No constraints
    Extreme constraints

Overview

07/03/2022

Chile hosts around 457,000 Venezuelan migrants, refugees and asylum seekers, with the highest numbers in the cities of Antofagasta, Metropolitana, and Valparaíso.? There has been an increasing trend of Venezuelans crossing into Chile since 2016, mainly due to economic collapse in Venezuela. Chile hosts the fourth largest population of Venezuelan migrants and refugees, after Colombia, Peru, and Ecuador.

Migration has continued during the COVID-19 pandemic, with COVID-related movement restrictions resulting in an increasing number of migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers entering through irregular crossing points.? They have undertaken lengthy journeys on foot and in extreme weather, including conditions of the Atacama Desert (one of the main routes). Lacking adequate clothing, blankets, and other supplies, their health and lives are at risk.?

Venezuelan and other migrants and refuges in Chile have suffered acts of discrimination and xenophobia, triggered by the increased pressure on resources resulting from the high number of arrivals, as well as a lack of integration policies. In the northern city of Iquique, the increasing flow of Venezuelans has led to clashes with law enforcement and the host community. In September 2021 and February 2022 demonstrations against the migrant and refugee population have escalated and resulted in fires and destruction of property at makeshift camps.?

The enactment of the New Migration Bill in April 2021 seeks to regulate and renew immigration permits, require visas for Venezuelan migrants, and standardise procedures for plural expulsions of irregular migrants. As at 7 December 2021, 668,806 applications had been submitted with only 201,118 processed. Documentation such as permits and visas are needed so Venezuelans in Chile can access services and formal jobs and improve their living conditions. ?

Latest Developments

15/03/2022

No significant recent humanitarian developments. This crisis is being monitored by our analysis team.

KEY PRIORITIES

19/04/2022

Shelter: Limited financial resources and rising rent prices make it very challenging for Venezuelans in transit or residing in Chile to cover rent costs. As a result, they prolong their stay in temporary shelters or end up living in public spaces. 80% of the Venezuelan population resides in Biobío, Metropolitana, and Valparaíso regions, where overcrowding in temporary shelters and shortage of basic services are reported. ?

Protection: The lack of required documentation for many Venezuelans forces them to use irregular migratory routes to enter Chile. Through these routes, they are exposed to harsh climates, extreme altitudes, and protection concerns including theft, human trafficking, and gender-based violence. Venezuelans are also exposed to xenophobia, with the risk of physical and psychological violence. ?

Food security: The economic effects of COVID-19 have reduced access to food for Venezuelan migrants and refugees. At least 19% of them have had to reduce their number of meals. High living costs and lack of documentation worsen access to food: 35% of the Venezuelan population in transit lacks food and water, and there are higher risks of malnutrition among pregnant and lactating women and children. ?

WASH: 35% of the Venezuelan population transiting to Chile through the Bolivian border lacks safe drinking water. Once in Chile, the lack of livelihoods makes it extremely challenging to secure housing with basic services. In temporary shelters and irregular settlements located in northern border cities of Chile, WASH infrastructure is insufficient. ?