Colombia reception center opening for Venezuelans: UNHCR
The UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, said Friday that together with the Colombian authorities, it is opening a reception center to offer support for Venezuelans in the border city of Maicao, in La Guajira region.
The 'Torres de la Majayura' settlement in Maicao houses more than 400 families are seen in La Guajira, Colombia on January 31, 2019. [File Photo: IC]
At a UN briefing, UNHCR spokesperson Andrej Mahecic said: "The Integrated Assistance Center, set up at the request of national and local authorities, has an initial capacity of 350, but could grow to accommodate more people in the future."
UNHCR said that more than 3.4 million Venezuelans are living abroad, of whom 2.7 million left the country since 2015.
Neighboring Colombia is most affected by this outflow, with over 1.1 million Venezuelans.
UNHCR said that at its assistance center vulnerable persons from Venezuela will have temporary access to shelter, food, water, basic medical care, and other services in the center.
"The reception center, the first of its kind in Colombia, aims at temporarily addressing the urgent humanitarian and protection needs of the most vulnerable people fleeing from Venezuela, as well as supporting the response of the local authorities," said Mahecic.
Maicao is one of the cities in La Guajira with the highest concentration per capita of refugees and migrants from Venezuela.