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

Key figures

  • 5,510,000 People affected [?]
  • 1,842,000 People displaced [?]
  • 4,831,000 People in Need [?]

Special Reports




Between 2015 and January 2022, the Venezuelan migrant and refugee population in Colombia rose from less than 39,000 to 1.8 million. As at February 2022, more than 344,688 Venezuelans legalised their status in Colombia; 1,182,059 are in the process of receiving Temporary Protection Status; over 315.643 remain in an irregular situation (i.e. undocumented). By end 2021, an estimated 1,64 million Venezuelans intending to stay in Colombia require humanitarian assistance. In a survey of 2,161 Venezuelan refugee and migrant households, the primary needs reported were access to food (85% of households), shelter or housing support (64% of households), and employment or income sources (46% of households).  ?

Venezuelan migrants and refugees in Norte de Santander, Valle del Cauca, and Nariño departments are exposed to high levels of violence from armed groups, causing mass displacement and protection concerns. Armed attacks, clashes, and violence from organised crime groups along the Apure-Arauca border have led to further displacement and exposed both Colombian and Venezuelan communities to increased insecurity. People in irregular situations are particularly exposed to protection issues related to sexual and gender-based violence, forced recruitment, and forced labour –especially in border and rural areas. These populations often do not report violent incidents to the police for fear of deportation. Many refugees and migrants in urban areas are homeless or housed in informal and/or overcrowded shelters. These facilities often lack proper access to basic sanitation, leading to the spread of disease and increased protection risks. Discrimination and xenophobia towards Venezuelan refugees and migrants limit their access to social and economic services.  ?


Latest Developments


At least 47,000 migrants and refugees from Venezuela live in Riohacha (La Guajira department), displaced by Venezuela’s socioeconomic and political crisis in recent years. The need for regularisation of migration status, and overall lack of viable, stable employment has left many of these people – now making up one-quarter of Riohacha’s population – without livelihoods, cash, and essential goods. Most migrants and refugees live in informal settlements on the city’s outskirts and lack basic services. Forced recruitment and other coercive measures by armed groups operating in this relatively remote area, as well as xenophobic violence and harassment by city residents, are reported. Riohacha additionally hosts Colombian returnees from Venezuela as well as Wayúu indigenous communities, some of whom also need food, drinking water, proper sanitation, and healthcare, stretching the capacity of government and local humanitarian groups to integrate and respond to the needs of migrants and refugees. ?



Health: In 2021, 77% of surveyed Venezuelan refugee and migrant households in Colombia lacked access to healthcare. Affiliation to the health system requires several documents that the migrant and refugee population does not always have. 26% of the surveyed households reported having at least one member diagnosed with a chronic illness. Of these, 39% have not been able to access medical treatment. (GIFMM & R4V 11/11/2021) .?

Gender-based violence: In 2021, 6% of the victims of commercial sexual exploitation were Venezuelan migrant women. There are reports of 276 Venezuelan migrant women suffering sexual, emotional, or physical abuse while being treated in the Colombian health system. Because of the socioeconomic situation experienced by migrants and refugees, as well as lack of protection, Venezuelan women are particularly exposed to intimate partner violence or sexual violence.? 

Food security and livelihoods: In 2021, 54% of surveyed Venezuelan households were food-insecure, 59% consumed two or fewer meals a day, and 25% consumed poor-quality water. About 31% of Venezuelan migrants who wanted to work were unemployed, and among those who were employed, 94% earned less than the Colombian minimum wage.?



The COVID-19 pandemic has led to significant regional population movements in Latin America, both inside countries and across borders. Many Venezuelan refugees and migrants working in the informal economy in Colombia, Brazil, and Peru have lost their livelihoods and face poverty, eviction, food insecurity, and increased protection risks. In 2020, the number of Venezuelan refugees and migrants in Colombia decreased for the first time since 2015 as a result of the pandemic. On 13 March 2020, the Colombian Government announced the immediate closure of all borders to limit the spread of COVID-19. Two humanitarian corridors stayed open for returnees. As at 19 May 2021, the borders remained closed. On 13 March 2020 the Colombian government announced the immediate closure of all borders to limit the spread of COVID-19 but kept open two humanitarian corridors for returnees. As of 27 May 2021, the border remains closed.?

On 21 August 2020, Venezuelan authorities announced the closure of the humanitarian corridor in Norte de Santander – the main corridor used by returnees. This corridor remains closed as at 2021. This complex situation has resulted in overcrowding at different points along the border and high numbers of migrants crossing at irregular points.? 

Find more information about the global impact of COVID-19 here.



On 8 February 2021, Colombian President Iván Duque announced the Temporary Protection Statute for Venezuelan Migrants. The Statute will support the regularisation of around one million Venezuelan refugees and migrants living in Colombia. This effort benefits Venezuelans with entry and stay permits as asylum seekers, holders of the ‘SC-2 laissez-passer’ document who are in the process of obtaining a visa from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and migrants in irregular situations who can prove they were in Colombia before 31 January 2021. The Statute will facilitate access to healthcare and legal employment opportunities for Venezuelan migrants and refugees. It will also allow Venezuelan migrants in Colombia to transit from a temporary protection regime to an ordinary migration procedure, giving them ten years to acquire a residency visa.?