The current mass exodus of Venezuelans into neighboring Colombia, Brazil, and other South American countries has the potential to wreak havoc in border communities and budgets. Official figures place the number of Venezuelan residents in Colombia at 600,000 and in Brazil at around 40,000, with observers on the ground estimating the real numbers to be much higher. To manage such an enormous challenge, the international community—including the U.N. system, international institutions, and other private, public, and multilateral stakeholders—will have to work together to mobilize the necessary resources and forge a collective response that provides relief to suffering Venezuelans fleeing their country.
On April 13, the Brookings Global-CERES Economic and Social Policy in Latin America Initiative (ESPLA) and the Latin America Initiative at Brookings co-hosted a discussion with regional and humanitarian experts on the Venezuelan refugee crisis and the national, regional, and global responses.
Following the conversation, panelists took audience questions.
Senior Deputy Assistant Administrator, Bureau for Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance - U.S. Agency for International Development
Regional representative for the United States and the Caribbean - United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary, Central Asia & the Americas, Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration - U.S. Department of State
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There is vast literature in economics showing how migrants are entrepreneurs at a much higher rate than locals. The act of migrating itself is an act of risk taking, and that’s the kind of profile of an entrepreneur.