August 3, 2020

The UN high commissioner for refugees seeks in Colombia to help the Venezuelans



The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the Italian Filippo Grandi, said on arriving in Bogota today that the purpose of his visit is to know first-hand the difficulties faced by Venezuelans in Colombia to plan their actions. of the organism it represents.

"I think it is very important for me to understand the concrete problems of Venezuelans to better plan future action in support of the Colombian Government," Grandi said at a press conference with Colombian Foreign Minister Carlos Holmes Trujillo.

According to the official, "the main concern of the UN is that Venezuelans can have access to protection instruments in different ways and available in various countries and that are not exposed to risks and dangers, especially women, children and people greater".

For this, both Grandi and Trujillo stressed the importance of Acnur together with the International Organization of Migration (IOM) have established a regional coordination platform and appointed as a special representative to former Vice President of Guatemala Eduardo Stein.

According to the UNHCR spokesperson, Stein will have to work with the governments of the Venezuelan host countries to "make the work more efficient, find resources and develop a regional strategy because many problems are the same in different countries."

For his part, the foreign minister thanked Grandi for his presence and indicated that the national government continues to strengthen internal mechanisms to deal with the migration crisis.

In fact, he said that in the coming days he will travel to Lima and Quito to "launch the first part of the process of harmonization of measures to address the situation" generated by the exodus of Venezuelans.

Filippo Grandi's agenda in Colombia will begin tomorrow in the city of Cúcuta, on the border with Venezuela, where the La Margarita medical center will open.

The director for the Development and Border Integration of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Víctor Bautista, will also participate in the event; the manager of Frontera, Felipe Muñoz; the mayor of Villa del Rosario, Pepe Ruiz, and the director of the Departmental Institute of Health, Juan Alberto Bitar.

The opening of La Margarita medical center is part of the international cooperation managed by the Chancellery with UNHCR and the Norwegian Refugee Council and seeks to address the migration crisis from Venezuela.

The place, located in Villa del Rosario, a municipality that is part of the metropolitan area of ​​Cúcuta, capital of the department of Norte de Santander, will serve about 320 people daily and approximately 9,300 a month.

Next Monday, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees will meet with Colombian President Ivan Duque to discuss issues related to immigrants from Venezuela.

Filippo Grandi began today a visit to Latin America that will last until October 14 and will also take him to Argentina, Peru and Ecuador.

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