Number of Homeless Venezuelan Refugees Explodes on Brazilian Border

Pacaraima has crowded shelters and more than 2,000 migrants sleeping in the street


The number of homeless Venezuelans in Pacaraima, a city in the state of Roraima, on the border with Venezuela, has exploded. There are already 4,015, an increase of 243% compared to May, the month before the reopening of the border.

According to a survey by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in August, there are 2,065 migrants and refugees from the neighboring country sleeping in the streets of the municipality of 18 thousand inhabitants.

There are also 1,695 occupations in public spaces and 255 in private places provided. The two shelters of Operation Welcome, led by the Army, are full, according to the Civil House.

According to UNHCR, the refugee agency, the increase is due to high demand after months of closed borders and Operation Welcome, and its partners are understaffed during the coronavirus pandemic.

The border was closed for Venezuelan migrants and asylum seekers in March 2020, and was only revoked on June 23 of this year. Now, the border is open on the Brazilian side, but not on Venezuela.

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

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