Regional Refugee and Migrant Response Plan for Refugees and Migrants from Venezuela 2020

Regional Plan
Last updated: 31 January 2020
Funding required
People in need
People Targeted

IOM Vision

IOM seeks to complement and strengthen the national responses and the regional efforts of governments responding to the increasing flows of refugees and migrants from Venezuela, by bridging the nexus between humanitarian interventions and assistance with a longer-term perspective. IOM will sustainably and comprehensively address emergency humanitarian and protection needs in transit and destination countries as well as seek longer-term solutions for all those affected to achieve successful integration in host communities. Through inter-agency analysis and coordination, IOM will contribute to monitoring progress towards collective outcomes.

Save lives and respond to needs through humanitarian assistance and protection

Funding required
People Targeted
People Targeted description

Migrants, refugees, vulnerable individuals, government counterparts and host communities.


IOM's emergency interventions will prioritise vulnerable groups, such as children, pregnant women, female-single-headed household, elderly, indigenous communities, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) communities who face significant risks while on the move and in receiving countries, among others. The safety, dignity and well-being of all crisis-affected persons, especially women and girls, and their equitable access to services will be prioritised, integrated and coordinated across all sectors of the response. To address the protection needs of these individuals IOM plans to:

  • Establish mapping services, assess their quality, engage in partnerships or advocacy to improve quality. 
  • Implement capacity building activities for state, non-state and other gender-based violence (GBV) front line actors to provide GBV response services with improved standardisation processes and tools.
  • Develop and implement, along with government authorities and community-based actors, the following:
    • Procedures for the safe identification and referral of trafficking in persons (TiP) victims;
    • Cross border standard operating procedures (SOPs) to ensure GBV survivors receive adequate, timely and safe specialised assistance along the transit routes and destinations;
    • Ethical and safe referrals pathways at the national and local level;
    • Data sharing protocols to ensure data protection.
  • Establish a regional code of conduct on Preventing Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (PSEA) in coordination with the actors in the Protection sector, that will be signed by all stakeholders involved in the Venezuelan response.
  • Establish and manage an assistance fund to support victims of trafficking, GBV survivors and other persons who might be particularly exposed to the risk of GBV/TiP.
  • Ensure that GBV guidelines are utilised by humanitarian actors and GBV risks are effectively mitigated across all sectors of the response.
  • Strengthen prevention, protection and prosecution mechanisms for human trafficking through improved institutional response and implementation of awareness-raising campaigns.
  • Facilitate access to documentation, through the dissemination of information on regularisation procedures, technical and legal assistance as well as orientation services for migrants in departure and arriving countries. 
  • Support family reunification in order to preserve the family unit and work to reduce the negative impacts that prolonged separation has in the ability of migrants to integrate within the host communities. 
Funding required
Plan types

Shelter, settlements and non-food items

IOM plans to carry out the following activities:

  • Improve the quality of existing temporary accommodations centres, promote new gender and ethnicity-sensitive shelters in entry, transit and exit areas to ensure safe and dignified stays for people and that no specific groups are left out.
  • Facilitate access to temporary accommodation centres for vulnerable families through cash-based interventions (CBI). IOM will adapt the cash-based modality in accordance with contextual opportunities and limitations, ensuring that assistance is delivered in the most effective manner and taking into account beneficiary preference. 
  • Distribute non-food items (NFIs) according to the target populations' needs. 
  • Develop efficient and adequate forms of rental assistance and incentives to guarantee improved access to medium-term accommodation solutions. This will permit the increasing number of migrants that are staying in temporary accommodations to seek to settle in urban areas.  
  • Build technical capacities of local partners to promote regularisation of spontaneous settlements and rights to housing.
  • GBV risk mitigation interventions will be included while allocating shelter materials, as well as during the shelter construction and distribution of NFIs. 
Funding required
Plan types

Health support

IOM plans to carry out the following activities:

  • Strengthen access to life-saving primary health care services for migrants and refugees from Venezuela and host communities through the deployment of mobile clinics and the provision of medicines, medical supplies and equipment. 
  • Provide adequate medical support to transportation services for migrants and refugees in the form of pre-departure medical checks, fit to travel consultations, and referrals for any specific treatment needed.
  • Improve access to medicines and medical exams for migrants and refugees from Venezuela in transit and destination countries. 
  • Promote access to safe, quality and compassionate health services for survivors of GBV, including safe referrals to additional care such as social and legal services.
Funding required
Plan types

Movement assistance

IOM plans to carry out the following activities:

  • Strengthen humanitarian transportation assistance in order to ensure migrants and refugees’ safe movements. In Argentina, Aruba, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Uruguay, transportation is provided from border to main destination cities where they can have access to social services and reception assistance. Colombia, Ecuador and Peru also provide border-to-border transportation assistance.
  • Support the relocation programme in Brazil and Mexico. This entails logistics of air and ground transportation, medical fit to travel procedures, transit assistance and integration support through cash-based interventions. 
  • Enhance migrants and refugees’ knowledge on their rights, relocation programs and access to services in destination countries through pre-departure orientation and post-arrival assistance.
Funding required
Plan types

Displacement tracking for humanitarian response

IOM plans to carry out the following activities:

  • Reinforce and expand DTM data collection activities such as mobility tracking, including site assessments, to get information on irregular flows, returnee and displacement sites. This will ensure that data is collected to respond to the ever-increasing needs of refugees and migrants from Venezuela.
  • Improve data collection on protection risk indicators including Trafficking in Persons, GBV and child-specific protection with the partnership of relevant stakeholders.
  • Harmonize regional analysis and information products to better inform governments and the humanitarian and development communities on existing and emerging trends in the flows of refugees and migrants from Venezuela. This includes strengthening the DTM data management system, increasing national-level outputs and the production of interactive dashboards, and regional and thematic reports.
Funding required
Plan types

Basic needs, including food

IOM plans to carry out the following activities:

  • Access to food for migrants and refugees in need in both border and urban areas. This includes distribution of food kits and hot meals, nutritional supplements through in-kind distribution and cash-based interventions in temporary accommodation and site locations. All interventions integrate GBV risk mitigation.
Funding required
Plan types

Mental health and psychosocial support in humanitarian response

IOM plans to carry out the following activities:

  • Carry out mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) assessments to identify needs, resources and key stakeholders.
  • Improve access to MHPSS for refugees and migrants from Venezuela and host communities. This entails the identification and establishment of referral pathways, prioritising high-risk populations, carrying out mental health promotion activities in target communities, as well as the implementation of trainings to improve knowledge of health providers on migrants and refugees' access to mental healthcare. 
  • Enhance health institutions’ capacities for the provision of mental health and psychosocial support through technical assistance.
  • Strengthen civil society organizations' capacities to provide actions of mental health and psychosocial support, emotional first aid and community based MHPSS activities. 
  • Establish interdisciplinary teams to carry out community-based MHPSS activities (art-based, sports and sociocultural celebrations) to address psychosocial needs and strengthen community networks in target communities.
Funding required
Plan types

Provision of water, sanitation and hygiene in emergencies

IOM plans to carry out the following activities:

  • Improve access to safe drinking water and ensure it is consistent with Sphere minimum standards in terms of quality, quantity and accessibility for target beneficiaries.
  • Enhance sanitation facilities in host communities where the sanitation conditions are below minimum accepted standards, paying special attention to the needs of women and girls and those in vulnerable situations.
  • Ensure the adoption of basic sanitation and hygiene practice during community-based hygiene promotion campaigns and training. Additionally, IOM will promote good hygiene with the provision of basic hygiene items designed and distributed to fit the needs of the culture and customs. 
Funding required
Plan types

Multi-sectoral support

Includes funding which supports multi-sectoral interventions or cannot be attributed to a specific activity area.
Funding required
Plan types

Address the drivers and longer term impacts of crises and displacement through investments in recovery and crisis prevention

Funding required
People Targeted
People Targeted description

Refugees, migrants, host communities, health professionals, as well as local and national entities.

Durable solutions

IOM will facilitate the socio-economic integration of refugees and migrants from Venezuela, ensuring equal labour opportunities and treatment for men and women. Host community members, local actors and civil society organizations play a crucial role in achieving IOM’ integration outcomes. Additionally, migrants and refugees from Venezuela will benefit from education interventions, which aims at extending and regularize the access to the formal education system, recognizing and validating prior learning and certifications. Children will be prioritized, with particular attention to girls. IOM plans to carry out the following activities:

  • Strengthen the resilience of populations impacted by crisis and displacements by responding to community-identified priorities through the engagement of different stakeholders. This will permit target beneficiaries to better cope with future shocks (See IOM's Progressive Resolution to Displacement Situations - PRDS).
  • Enhance the inclusion of migrants and refugees from Venezuela in local labour. This includes creating new and strengthening current partnership with the private sector, improving public employment services, implementing microfinance programs, establishing orientation centres, providing entrepreneurship trainings for migrants and refugees and job fairs.   
  • Provide information on mechanisms to access social services through sensitization initiatives. 
  • Engage with the private sector to promote corporate social responsibility and ethical recruitment of migrants and refugees from Venezuela. 
  • Access to the national education system and labour market for migrants and refugees in receiving countries. It will be achieved through the development of inclusion processes, creation of mechanisms for the recognition of academic certifications and training for teachers.
  • Improve the standard of living of migrants, refugees and host communities, through enhanced sanitation facilities and provision of medium-term housing.
  • Enhance social cohesion among migrants, refugees and host communities through the promotion of cultural events, and implementation of anti-xenophobia and discrimination campaigns.
Funding required
Plan types

Health system strengthening

In order to strengthen health systems in receiving countries, health professionals, as well as local and national entities, will benefit from capacity-building activities, while promotion of sexual and reproductive rights will target migrants and refugees, as well as host communities. IOM plans to carry out the following activities:

  • Strengthen the health system, including provision of emergency healthcare, sexual and reproductive health, pediatric assistance and nutrition disorders, among others. This will be achieved by eliminating access barriers in host countries due to cultural and gender reasons, lack of documentation and specific requirements, as well as the promotion of sexual and reproductive rights through community-based initiatives.
  • Provide technical assistance to national governments to improve the response of the health care services to the regional Venezuelan crisis including health services, management of information and facilities.
  • Strengthen local entities’ capacities to develop prevention, control and assistance strategies on transmittable and non-transmittable infections.
  • Promote sexual and reproductive rights of migrants, refugees and host communities as well as their access to the healthcare system. This includes the implementation of information campaigns and community-based strategies led by local entities.
  • Strengthen the health system, including provision of emergency healthcare, sexual and reproductive health, pediatric assistance, nutrition disorders among others. This will be achieved by eliminating access barriers in host countries due to cultural and gender reasons and lack of documentation and specific requirements as well as the promotion of sexual and reproductive rights through community-based initiatives.
  • Ensure all health facilities have trained staff, sufficient supplies and equipment for clinical management of sexual violence survivor services based on national or international protocols.
Funding required
Plan types
Operational presence in

Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Costa Rica, Mexico, Panama, Aruba, Curaçao, Dominican Republic, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Paraguay, Uruguay


Figures are as of 31 December 2020. For more details of IOM's operational capacity in country, please see the IOM Capacity section.