CARACAS – The Venezuelan economy is collapsing. One-twelfth of the country’s population has left the country hoping to find a better life. More than three million are now displaced and seeking refuge somewhere outside of the Venezuelan borders.
How bad is it?
The Washington Post calls it:
“The biggest crisis in the hemisphere.”
USA Today says it is:
“[The] region’s worst humanitarian crisis in decades.”
Australian news website, news.com.au, says that:
“The toll of the mass exodus has been largely invisible, rivaling the flow of Middle Eastern and African refugees to Europe.”
Mercy Corps calls the Venezuelan situation “an underreported crisis” in which people need our help now. They report that “the average Venezuelan lost 24 pounds last year and [now] eats only one meal a day.”
Rescue.org adds these startling insights about the crisis:
- It is the largest displacement in Latin America’s history
- Children are being separated from their families at a rate five time higher than usually seen in these types of emergencies.
- The once city of Caracas was named the most dangerous capital city in the world in 2017.
- Inflation is running rampant. Consumer prices have risen by nearly 500,000% over the past year and could reach one million percent by the end of 2018.
- There is no end in sight for this crisis.
Venezuela’s neighbors have had a fairly liberal, open-door policy for accepting refugees but, as the numbers keep increasing, some, like Ecuador, are beginning to enforce stricter measures at their borders.
Thus far, Colombia has accepted over a million refugees. Peru has taken half-a-million, Ecuador over 220,000, Argentina over 130,000, Chile over 100,000, and Brazil over 85,000. Many refugees are trekking north through Central America. Panama has taken in more than 94,000.
On November 22 (American Thanksgiving) and 23, regional governments will meet for a second time to “scale up and harmonize” policies on how to deal with the crisis. Some 40 agencies, including faith-based and civil NGOs, the United Nations and other international agencies are in the midst of developing a joint humanitarian Regional Response Plan, but that is not expected to be launched until sometime in December. And the refugees keep coming.
Join us in prayer for these Venezuelans who have no place to turn. Each one is a person who lives in fear of what lies ahead. Pray that they will call upon the name of the Lord and that He will meet them in the midst of their crisis.
To read more news on the Refugee Crisis on Missions Box, go here.
- News.com.au, Behind one of the biggest migrations in the world today
- UNHCR, Number of refugees and migrants from Venezuela reaches 3 million
- USA Today, Fleeing Venezuela, migrants flood Colombia amid region’s worst humanitarian crisis in decades
- The Washington Post, Venezuela’s refugee exodus is the biggest crisis in the hemisphere
- Mercy Corps, URGENT: Venezuelans struggling to survive
- International Rescue Committee, Venezuela’s crisis deepens
- Kenneth Rodríguez [CC BY-SA 4.0], from Wikimedia Commons