Since 2018, RET has directly supported more than 28,200 direct participants in Peru, 60% of them are vulnerable women and indirectly benefitted 141,000 participants throughout 3 projects focused on Protection, Education, Self-reliance & Livelihoods, Nutrition & Food security.
Asylum applications in Peru have significantly increased from 379 in January 2016 to more than 20,000 in 2017. According to the UNHCR, “an estimated 45,000 Venezuelan asylum seekers entered the country, resulting in 800 new asylum applications per day” making Peru the second country following Colombia with the highest number of Venezuelan migrants present. During their migratory journey and at border crossing, migrants or asylum seekers have food, water, health, and shelter needs and often face protection risks. UNHCR states that “the risk of sexual and gender-based violence, trafficking and exploitation is a growing concern for local and national authorities.” Families are exposed to labor exploitation and financial difficulties in earning a living and students are facing difficulties enrolling in the education system. Moreover, asylum seekers entering Peru do not have clear and precise information on procedures, processing and costs regarding the requirements to formalize their immigration status at the government offices of the Special Commission for Refugees or the National Migration Superintendent and other entities that facilitate access to basic services for this population.
In response, RET started its activities in Peru in 2018, with a vision of consolidating its efforts to protect and provide humanitarian assistance to vulnerable migrants, asylum seekers and refugees coming from Venezuela and assisting the most vulnerable Peruvian communities. RET aimed to bridge the integration and socio-economic gaps in Peru and advance self-sufficiency of refugees, asylum seekers and vulnerable migrants in Peru, in coordination with the local government.
The recent projects focused on providing humanitarian assistance and protection aid with a focus on improving access to health, shelter and livelihoods services along with providing non-formal education services to Venezuelan children and adolescents from Southern Lima. RET implements its activities in coordination with the National Refugees and Migrants Working Group (RMWG), led by UNHCR and IOM.
Building bridges of assistance, protection and integration for Venezuelan refugees and migrants in Perú
Peru is the second destination country for Venezuelan people fleeing the socio-economic and political crisis affecting their country. Peru also shows a high number of migrants and asylum seekers coming from the Americas. During their migratory journey and at the border crossing points, migrants and asylum seekers require basic assistance such as food, transportation and shelter and often face protection risks. The objective of this project is to provide humanitarian assistance, protection and sustainable local integration of refugees, asylum seekers and vulnerable migrants in Peru, in coordination with local government entitiesin Lima, Tumbes and Arequipa.
The project provides humanitarian assistance to Venezuelan asylum seekers and vulnerable migrants focusing on health, nutrition, water and shelter, and by strengthening their leadership skills and coping mechanisms through the provision of livelihood opportunities to advance integration into the Peruvian host community. In addition, the project provides strengthening to public local institutions and civil servants and protection to vulnerable young women and girls facing or at risk of gender-based violence.
These projects implemented respectively, between September 2018 and September 2019 and between September 2019 and September 2020, were funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau for Population, Refugees and Migration (BPRM) and implemented by RET in Peru.
Better educational opportunities for Venezuelan migrants and refugees in Peru
The influx of refugees and migrant’s adolescent and children from Venezuela is overstretching the capacity of the Peruvian educational systems to accommodate students and provide them with quality education. According to the Metropolitan Lima Regional Education Directorate, 50,000 migrant and refugee children and adolescents are facing challenges to access the Peruvian education system due to several factors including xenophobia and discrimination, with girls being the most vulnerable. The project aims to create better educational opportunities for Venezuelan migrants and refugees in Peru by reaching to out-of-school migrant, refugee and host community children and adolescents, from whom 70 percent will be Venezuelans and the remainder will be host community members in the Southern districts of Metropolitan Lima, Chorrillos, San Juan de Miraflores, Villa El Salvador y Villa María del Triunfo.
The project will focus on increasing access to education for Venezuelan refugees and migrants, as well as Peruvian children and adolescents; reinforcing the MoE capacity to enroll and to provide education services for refugees and migrant populations; providing to out of school refugees, migrants and vulnerable local children and adolescents access to non-formal education programs that enrich their lives, allowing them to develop competencies and skills, increase self-esteem and help them access the formal education system and finally strengthening local communities’ capacities to protect out-of-school migrant, refugee and host community children and adolescents, increasing integration and avoiding xenophobia and discrimination.
RET is implementing the non-formal education program “Aprendiendo Unidos” using a “Project Based Learning Method (ABP)”, allowing students to be meaningfully engaged in the “identification, development and implementation” of solutions, while strengthening their leadership, communication and numeracy skills.