IOM Aids Colombian Deportees from Venezuela
Colombia - IOM has joined a humanitarian team of government entities and international agencies assisting the over 1,000 Colombians who have been deported from Venezuela in the last few days.
Since the night of Wednesday, August 19, when the principal border crossing between Colombia and Venezuela was closed, 1,097 Colombians (877 adults and 220 minors) have arrived in the Colombian border city of Cúcuta.
In addition, hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela to avoid deportation, crossing the river which marks the border between the two countries and steering clear of formal border crossings. According to UNOCHA, over 2,000 Colombians left Venezuela voluntarily.
In Cúcuta, IOM is helping with the registration of over 900 deportees housed in four temporary shelters. The tool being used to register deportees is the SIGAT, an information and monitoring system for temporary housing developed with IOM support. The managers of these shelters have received training from IOM in the administration of temporary housing.
IOM is also facilitating the transportation of deportees in Cúcuta who wish to relocate to other regions in Colombia. Currently some 50 deportees have been assisted with transportation to over 10 cities of Colombia.
IOM is responding to the needs of Colombians on both sides of the border. In Venezuela, it forms part of the interagency team that is monitoring the situation of the Colombians living in that country. IOM is also paying close attention to the flow of migrants through the Guajira and Arauca border crossings.
Alejandro Guidi, Chief of Mission for IOM in Colombia, accompanied a Colombian government delegation this past Monday on a visit to the border region to identify actions for assisting the deportees. “We are ready to support Colombians who have been deported or returned voluntarily, in a joint effort with national and local authorities, and other cooperation agencies,” said Guidi.
During the coming days IOM staff will create a profile of the deportees currently housed in temporary shelters and support the managers of the facilities.
For more information please contact Jorge Gallo at IOM Colombia, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel. +5716397777, Ext. 1222.