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Venezuelans risk life and limb to seek help in Colombia

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Venezuelans risk life and limb to seek help in Colombia

UNHCR News, 05 Apr 2019

URL: https://www.unhcr.org/news/latest/2019/4/5ca71c3a4/venezuelans-risk-life-limb-seek-help-colombia.html
With the international border bridge that connects Colombia with Venezuela currently shut, Venezuelans seeking urgent help are being forced to cross into Colombia through the torrential waters of a border river in full spate. At a communal kitchen supported by UNCHR and run by the local Catholic Church diocese, hungry Venezuelans line up for a hot meal afterwards. Jose Luis Jimenez, a brave displaced Venezuelan, says “I am very grateful to UNHCR and the Diocese […] I rely on this service to feed myself and my children.”

The kitchen, aptly named La Divina Providencia, or Divine Providence, serves up to 8,000 meals a day and is a lifeline to Venezuelan refugees and migrants transiting through Cúcuta but also to people like Jose Luis who continue to live in Venezuela but cross the border to Colombia every day. Showers, medical consulations, and legal aid are also available there.