In partnership with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), AVSI Ecuador implements the project "ACTIVADOS: Promoting Integration of Venezuelan Refugees and Migrants in Host Communities" in Manabí, Ecuador.
The project's goal is to foster local integration, peaceful coexistence and to protect Venezuelan refugees and migrants in the cities of Manta and Portoviejo. AVSI Ecuador will also improve access to formal work for Venezuelan refugees and migrants and for the Ecuadorian local community, through a strategy based on market research.
With more than 4.3 million Venezuelan refugees and migrants living outside of the country, the displacement of Venezuelans is the largest outflow of a population in recent Latin American history and one of the largest in the world.
Since 2014, the number of Venezuelans applying for refugee status worldwide increased by 4,000%, especially in the American continent.
Many Venezuelans who could meet the criteria to be recognized as refugees do not seek international protection through asylum procedures but opt for other legal forms of staying in host countries. The goal is to have access to work, education and social services faster.
However, there are still hundreds of them that do not have any documentation or permission to remain regularly in nearby countries. Therefore, they lack formal access to basic rights and services, which makes them particularly vulnerable to labor and sexual exploitation, human trafficking, violence, discrimination, and xenophobia.
The projects aims at strengthening local networks and capacities in the communities of El Florón (Portoviejo) and El Palmar (Manta) and promoting the protection of rights and inclusion of Venezuelans and Ecuadorians by mapping and identifying local livelihoods and opportunities.
The project has two components:
A) Strengthening Community Networks
B) Identification and Mapping of Livelihoods
Initial activities will include active engagement of communities to identify needs and challenges; map local services; and develop action plans to respond to the identified challenges. Information on rights, obligations, and services, will be disseminated through established channels and media based on an assessment of needs. Through these activities, AVSI Ecuador hopes to promote peaceful coexistence and protection of rights.
Finally, through market analysis and the identification of job insertion needs, a sustainable and effective economic inclusion opportunity plan will be created.
AVSI Ecuador will reach 944 people, including both Venezuelan refugees and members of host communities.