Venezuelans living in the streets find safety at new reception centre in Colombia
UNHCR News, 15 Apr 2019
With a population of around 100,000, Maicao currently hosts 30,000 refugees and migrants. An assessment conducted by UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, in February revealed that half of the 3,500 Venezuelans interviewed were living in the streets or in informal settlements in and around the city.
Refugees and migrants living in the streets of Maicao have little access to drinking water, bathrooms, shelter and other basic needs. They are also exposed to serious risks like human trafficking, sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), labour exploitation and sexual exploitation.
At the end of 2018, Maicao’s local authorities and the Colombian government asked UNHCR for support to set up a temporary reception centre to help address the lack of accommodation for so many people in need.