AMERICA/ECUADOR - The Red Cross for Venezuelan migrants. Visa is now obligatory

Tuesday, 27 August 2019 migrants   area crisis   humanitarian assistance   politics  


Quito (Agenzia Fides) - The Ecuadorian Red Cross is strongly committed to assisting migrants. This can be seen from the report just published on its activities of the year 2018. The commitment in this area, notes the report sent to Fides, has acquired great importance given the new provisions of the Ecuadorian government: in fact, Venezuelan citizens cannot enter Ecuador without a visa. The government in Quito has begun to ask Venezuelans who wish to enter their territory for a visa, even if they are in transit. The new measure complicates the arrival of migrants who do not even have a passport and intend to continue traveling to the south of the continent, where settlement restrictions are minor. Yesterday, August 26, in order to protest against the measure, a group of migrants partially closed the passage in one of the bridges on the border with Colombia.
Migration data indicates that some 22,000 Venezuelans entered Ecuador in the last week alone through the two main border points: Rumichaca and San Miguel. For many, Ecuador is only a place of transit and the final destination is Peru, which is the second country in the region with the greatest presence of Venezuelans (850,000).
Although Peru has been asking Venezuelans for a visa since June 15, it has several exceptions in force and one of these favors migration for family reunification purposes. Ecuador has not established any kind of exception. The border police tells them that they can take a direct flight from Colombia.
Since June 2018, the Ecuadorian Red Cross launched the emergency plan for the migrant and displaced population. In the report sent to Fides, the national president of the Ecuadorian Red Cross, Ms. Victoria Albán Torres, informed that the Red Cross has assisted 247,609 migrant people, intervening in various fields such as: restoring family contact, health, psychosocial support, humanitarian assistance, basic first aid. The organization delivered 312,235 liters of safe water, nutritional kits and clothing, in 11 provinces of the country. (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 27/8/2019)