IOM’s multi-sectoral programming addresses the causes and mitigates long-term impacts of crises and displacement through investments in recovery and prevention, leveraging IOM's operational presence in the country, technical expertise and strong relationships with national and local authorities, as well as with key strategic actors. IOM efforts extend beyond meeting the needs of vulnerable individuals and communities and focus on ensuring the sustainability of the interventions and the stabilization of communities, through actions that contribute to the humanitarian, peace, and development nexus and the empowerment of local key actors, contributing to efforts to achieve the SDGs, promote gender equality, and leave no one behind.
Vulnerable people and crisis/displacement affected communities in need, with a particular focus on women, girls, the elderly, people with diverse sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics (SOGIESC), people living with HIV, survivors of gender-based violence, victims of trafficking in persons/smuggling of migrants and people with disabilities are targeted by IOM in Venezuela. Due to the limited access to basic services for indigenous communities, IOM will also ensure that these communities are reached through life-saving assistance in several sectors.
In order to support the creation of an environment in which all forms of violence, including, but not limited to, extortion, abuse, exploitation, human trafficking and gender-based violence and abuses against the human dignity of crisis-affected populations are identified, responded to and prevented, IOM activities will include:
- Improving the capacity of local actors to fight human trafficking in compliance with international norms, standards, and IOM best practices. IOM will provide community stakeholders and relevant humanitarian partners (including the Venezuela Protection Cluster) with the skills and knowledge to apply state-of-the-art methodologies, indicators, frameworks, and ethical safeguards in information management activities related to counter-trafficking in emergencies (CTiE), and to register and manage cases of VoTs or persons at risk of TIP with strict adherence to the IOM Data Protection Manual and principles;
- Support the creation of local technical working groups on human trafficking in Zulia, Falcón, Delta Amacuro, Tachira, and Bolivar states;
- Protection case management for VoTs: strengthen screening and reporting mechanisms and improve referral routes between partner agencies and organizations to ensure a coordinated and coherent response. This includes mapping of available protection services, providing specialized care, specifically health, MHPSS services, and legal services;
- Facilitate access to documentation and life-saving information to vulnerable populations, including children, and disseminate life-saving information related to protection risks and its mitigation in transit and temporary accommodation centres, as well as in communities. Messaging will be developed by specialists and include information on GBV risk mitigation, traﬃcking and smuggling, sexual and labour exploitation and other forms of abuse, updated information on available services and ways to mitigate risks;
- Establish a safer environment in local communities through sensitization campaigns on GBV risk mitigation, traﬃcking, and other forms of exploitation and abuse in areas of origin and transit to reach out to groups of different ages, gender, and vulnerabilities;
- Enable safe spaces at border communities for the safe direct assistance of VoTs. IOM will rehabilitate and manage safe spaces to ensure they have better conditions for the first assistance of VoTs in TACs in four key border communities: 1) in Santa Elena de Uairen, (Bolivar State), near the border with Brazil; 2) in Ureña (Tachira State), near the border with Colombia; 3) in Maracaibo (Zulia State) a facility that an INGO is setting up for VoTs; and 4) San Fernando de Apure (Apure State). Adaptation and distribution of inclusive IEC materials (on AAP, PSEA, humanitarian principles and gratuity of services) in safe spaces.
With regard to supporting health services, IOM will carry out the following activities:
- Providing preventative and primary health care for people on the move, returnees, IDPs and vulnerable groups (including indigenous communities) through mobile health teams (MHT) to contribute to reducing barriers to access primary health services. The teams are composed of general practitioners, paediatricians, OB/GYNs, psychologists, nurses, and health promoters, providing a wide range of diagnostic and treatment services;
- Referral mapping of specialized healthcare actors and services and ensure inter-agency coordination and complementarity with work undertaken by host government counterparts, civil society, and international actors;
- Establishing referral pathways to ensure as much as possible a comprehensive and complete medical service, that will include bi-directional support for referrals and the creation of a referral register to maintain a list of all outward and inward referrals;
- Development of SOPs on medical referrals and protocols for health care centers and CHWs that provide community-based primary health care;
- Supporting medical professionals in temporary accommodation centres in border states (such as Apure, Zulia, Amazonas, Táchira, and Bolívar) which host the most returnees and persons on the move within Venezuela to facilitate their access to primary health services. In addition, health checks and primary health care assistance for people on the move will be provided by community-based mobile health teams. The teams consist of at least one doctor and one nurse who will be provided with basic equipment and medication;
- Training of Community Health Workers (CHW) to conduct community-based surveillance, prevention of diseases and health promotion activities. Engaging CHWs in community-based surveillance responsibilities, limited to systematic continuous collection of data on events and diseases using simplified case definitions and forms and reporting to mobile health teams for verification, investigation, collation, analysis and response as necessary, with timely and regular notification of the MHTs of the occurrence of unexpected or unusual cases of disease or death in humans and animals for immediate verification and investigation and support during the case/outbreak investigation and contact tracing;
- Deploying trained CHWs to conduct health promotion activities to provide necessary information to community members about how to improve health outcomes, prevent STIs, vector-borne diseases, food, and water-borne diseases, among others, through trained CHWs, mobilize communities and promote the work of MHTs, follow up and help community members understand their health condition(s) and develop strategies to improve their health and wellbeing;
- Training of health care professionals from targeted health care centers on infection, prevention, and control (IPC), trauma-informed care and prioritized health programmes.
To support mental health and psychosocial support for affected populations, IOM will conduct the following activities:
- Provide comprehensive mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) services to vulnerable people and communities, both at the community and individual levels. This includes the provision of individual and group counselling, the provision of psychological first aid (PFA), and community and family support activities (such as socio-relational activities, including sport and play activities, art-based activities, and cultural events). MHPSS services will be provided by interdisciplinary Psychosocial Mobile Teams (PMTs);
- As co-chair of the MHPSS TWG in Venezuela, mapping MHPSS actors and services and ensuring inter-agency coordination and complementarity with work undertaken by host government counterparts, civil society, and international actors;
- Provide referrals to specialized mental health services for people with severe mental health conditions.
In order to strengthen access to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) and increase the capacities of vulnerable communities in Venezuela to prevent diseases contagion, especially COVID-19, IOM activities will include:
- Improvement of access to safe, sustainable WASH services for vulnerable people through rehabilitation of water and sanitation infrastructure and the provision of hygiene promotion activities, ensuring that the assistance meets minimum Sphere standards in 1) vulnerable communities, 2) temporary accommodation centres, 3) health institutions, and 4) schools, where WASH services are below minimum standards;
- Distribution of hygiene kits to the vulnerable population, people on the move and returnees, including menstrual hygiene management (MHM) kits, paying special attention to the needs of women and girls in reproductive ages. Hygiene kits contain items such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, toilet paper, deodorant, litter bags and water purification tablets, as well as specific items for the infection prevention and control (IPC) of COVID-19 such as antibacterial gel, latex gloves, masks, and extra soap. IOM WASH teams will work alongside IOM health teams to conduct educational sessions on health and hygiene promotion, including menstrual hygiene management and COVID-19 prevention measures; Provision of training on the proper use of hygiene items that require some technical knowledge such as the use of water purification tablets, and cleaning and disinfection items such as chlorine will be provided with appropriate training to ensure health and safety of beneficiaries;
- Strengthening of communities’ hygiene behaviour through hygiene promotion activities, including posters, focus-group discussions, awareness campaigns and dissemination of information, education and communication (IEC) materials in targeted areas through a Risk Communication and Community Engagement (RCCE) strategy.
To support the fulfilment of the basic needs of affected populations, IOM will:
- Provide portable meals and daily prepared meals to people on the move in mobile assistance points and temporary accommodation centres, according to nutritional guidelines from the Food Security Cluster in terms of quantity and quality;
- Provide monthly food kits to vulnerable households from host communities, and returnees, to promote livelihood recovery and resilience of the most vulnerable populations in areas of origin and destination of human mobility in Venezuela, containing non-perishable food items that support 60 per cent of the monthly food needs of households. The composition of the kits will be in line with food security cluster recommendations and adjusted to the local diet;
- IOM and the majority of its humanitarian partners do not provide assistance through cash and vouchers, considering the economic situation in Venezuela and constant devaluation of national currency, continued inflation, lack of cash and the negative impact of purchasing power and private consumption, as well as security concerns that could affect the safety of beneficiaries. However, in line with IOM´s Cash-Based Intervention Strategy 2022-2026, IOM aims to increase and leverage the use of CBI as a key enabler to improving access of migrants, displaced populations and other affected communities to basic needs, protection and other rights, as well as enhancing their resilience in situations of crisis, transition, recovery and development.
In order to support the management and effective operation of the network of temporary collective shelters for people on the move and to meet the shelter and non-food item (NFI) needs and improve the living conditions of the affected population, IOM activities will include:
- Provision of safe shelter at temporary accommodation centres supported by IOM in line with the Sphere standards and Shelter, Energy and NFI cluster recommendations;
- Providing safe access to goods and essential services to people on the move, including vulnerable populations in temporary collective shelters;
- Strengthening and expansion of IOM's network of mobile assistance points on migratory routes for vulnerable people on the move, in coordination with local authorities;
- Conducting needs assessments and providing essential NFIs (habitat kits, infant care kits, hygiene kits and dignity kits, PPE kits) to the most vulnerable households, people with specific needs and other vulnerable groups, in prioritized communities and to people on the move, in coordination with the Shelter, Energy and NFI Cluster;
- Planning and designing of frameworks and standard operating procedures (SOPs) for the establishment of common warehousing, common pipeline services and related transportation logistics in the states of Amazonas, Apure, Bolivar, Táchira, and Zulia in coordination with the relevant Clusters to offer services to the humanitarian actors operational in the areas;
- Distributing NFIs, in coordination with the Shelter, Energy and NFI Cluster: hygiene kits and dignity kits, PPE, and shelter kits through local partners in Amazonas, Apure, Barinas, Bolivar, Caracas, Falcón, Sucre, Táchira, and Zulia, and other identified vulnerable communities including returnees, including identification and distribution of articles that specifically address women’s and girls’ needs;
- Post-distribution monitoring (PDM) for NFI distribution and service delivery;
- Mapping and ensuring coordination and complementarity with work undertaken by government counterparts, civil society, international actors and the Shelter, Energy and NFI cluster.
IOM´s Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM) team manages and coordinates the assistance, services and protection activities in the temporary accommodation centers in Venezuela. IOM CCCM programing ensures participation of all groups of displaced communities. IOM CCCM activities will include:
- Coordinating with the relevant implementing partners (IPs) the provision of services at temporary collective centers, including shelter, access to food, sanitation facilities, access to life-saving information;
- Strengthening the capacity of local IPs who manage temporary collective shelters and provide services, through the provision of trainings on shelter management and minimum standards, protection mainstreaming, prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse (PSEA) and humanitarian standards, among others;
- Supporting the adoption of a protocol on prevention measures for COVID-19 transmission at temporary collective shelters including social distancing, mask-wearing, handwashing or disinfection, activities implemented with a small number of participants and antigen tests will be provided in case they are required.
Address the drivers and longer-term impacts of crises and displacement, supporting durable solutions and investing in crisis prevention
Vulnerable people within crisis/displaced communities in need, with a particular focus on women, girls, the elderly, people living with HIV and people with disabilities to carry out specific community-based agricultural projects. IOM has determined a set of vulnerability criteria for the selection of beneficiaries. The criteria depend on the type of activities and can include ownership of a piece of land, access to water, reading capacities and motivation. In addition, IOM will support SAIME (Servicio Administrativo de Identificación, Migración y Extranjería) - a Venezuelan government institution in charge of Civil Registry services - in border areas and relevant local stakeholders to increase their capacity to provide essential services to migrants and vulnerable populations and lay the foundations for durable solutions, lasting peace and sustainable development.
Under Community Stabilization, IOM aims to tackle the root causes of migration and displacement by promoting stability and (re-)integration in communities of origin and destination. IOM activities will include:
- Support for local authorities and communities receiving returnees, through concrete and practical interventions in areas such as providing shelter assistance, including support to access to cadastral services, protection services including legal aid and support to access civil documentation, distribution of relief items, water and sanitation, health and MHPSS services, support to access to education, socio-economic reintegration and livelihood support; as well as repairs to civilian infrastructure and restoration of basic services;
- Implementation of community-based food security projects, to promote sustainable local food production, self-sufficiency and healthy diets. The activity aims to both enhance social cohesion and integration between people on the move and host communities and decrease the number of households that adopt negative coping mechanisms such as skipping meals due to scarcity of food. For this activity, IOM provides seeds and tool kits, technical capacity building and monitoring to returnees and vulnerable families in host communities or vulnerable indigenous communities. Good practices include the development of local seed banks in cooperation with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO);
- Rolling out of livelihood projects, both agricultural and non-agricultural, specifically for returnees to facilitate the reintegration process, as well as with indigenous populations to enhance access to income sources. The activity on livelihood support will include technical skills trainings, basic financial literacy as well as the provision of start-up kits to 250 families that are among the most vulnerable;
- Preparation of school meals in host communities, areas of transit and the most vulnerable communities with a high number of departing migrants. Through the provision of daily meals, IOM seeks to improve school inclusion and retention rates for the most vulnerable children, while enhancing levels of food security and nutrition;
- Implementation of activities promoting the migration-development nexus (i.e. strengthening of the health sector, increasing the capacities of SAIME (Servicio Administrativo de Identificación, Migración y Extranjería) - a Venezuelan government institution in charge of Civil registry services - among others;
- Engagement with and capacity building of local administrations to lead an inclusive participatory planning process in partnership with IOM and civil society;
- Development of community action plans for stability and recovery, including assessment of the state of local medical, educational, and other critical public infrastructure;
- Provision of technical and financial support for priority areas, through in-kind assistance including but not limited to restoration of health services, public infrastructure, economic infrastructure, and communal spaces;
- Assessment of the state of individual local infrastructure and support of maintenance, recovery and/or upgrading conditions of medical, educational, and other critical infrastructures;
- Mapping of relevant actors and ensuring inter-agency coordination and complementarity with work undertaken by government counterparts, civil society, and international actors;
- Refurbishment of official border crossings infrastructure to enable better humanitarian services and working conditions;
- Support to connectivity and communications in isolated areas through internet points to facilitate access to internet for migrants so that they can keep their families updated on their journey. IOM and the majority of its humanitarian partners do not provide assistance through cash and vouchers, considering the economic situation in Venezuela and constant devaluation of national currency, continued inflation, lack of cash and the negative impact of purchasing power and private consumption, as well as security concerns that could affect the safety of beneficiaries. However, in line with IOM´s Cash Based Intervention Strategy 2022-2026, IOM aims to increase and leverage the use of cash based interventions (CBI). CBI will act as a catalyst to promote social cohesion, build resilience, empower individuals and communities by using a people-centred approach, restore livelihoods and revitalize economies, and have a sustainable effect on the assisted communities.
To promote mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) as part of recovery and crisis prevention, IOM will:
- Support community-based socio-relational activities that restore social cohesion, supportive inter-personal networks and the inclusion of marginalized groups such as sports activities, cultural events, civic dialogues and strategic communication.
- Implementation of psychosocial mobile teams (PMTs) that address 3/4 of the levels of the IASC intervention pyramid, according to the IASC Guidelines on MHPSS in Emergency Settings. Referrals to specialized mental health services (level 4 of the intervention pyramid) will be conducted for persons with severe mental health disorders.
To support increased capacity and strengthening of the health system in Venezuela, IOM will implement the following activities:
- Provide medical equipment, supplies and medicines to support the primary health facilities and emergency referral system in selected communities across the country;
- Enhance the capacities of community health workers (CHWs) in order to strengthen their knowledge on health-related issues of vulnerable populations through refresher trainings on health promotion topics;
- Training of healthcare staff of local health system within the primary health network;
- Rehabilitate and provide equipment and supplies for health centres in border areas to increase sustainable access to health services for migrants, returnees and vulnerable communities;
- Support referral networks in remote areas through ambulance rehabilitation.
IOM understands the links between migration, health issues, and climate change through the lens of human security (food security, health security, water security) and is committed to putting vulnerable people at the centre of its responses. When well-managed migration becomes a safe and accessible choice, it can help people adapt to environmental and climate change pressures, including sudden onset events like floods, which have occurred at the end of 2022 in Venezuela. In case of floods in 2023, IOM is committed to continuing to work together with its partner humanitarian agencies to provide multisectoral assistance to the victims of floods and other sudden-onset events in Venezuela. The assistance will include the provision of WASH NFI, food assistance, health care assistance and shelter, including support to transit centers in border states, as well as to the collective centers run by the Government as a preparedness strategy to respond to natural disasters.
IOM seeks to provide support in developing the preparedness capacities of government and non-government partners in humanitarian response and assisting vulnerable populations and providing support for populations who are likely to be severely affected by the impact of disasters and crises. IOM’s initiatives include:
- Provision of trainings on disaster risk reduction (DRR) in line with Migrant in Countries in Crisis (MICIC) Guidelines and other internationally recognized standards, to crisis-affected communities as part of CCCM and evacuation, shelter response and recovery programmes, mainstreaming protection principles and durable solutions;
- Supporting the drafting, review and update of local policies on disaster risk management and local climate change adaptation and strengthening the implementation capacity of local authorities through the provision of training, equipment and tools;
- Conducting research and actions related to Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) and contributing to the generation of relevant science-based evidence and utilization of local knowledge to inform the government’s policies and programmes, and multi-sectoral programmes (i.e. food security-WASH-climate change, DTM-community stabilization) with other development partners including UN agencies and CSO partners;
- Conducting advocacy work for policies and research related to CCA in Venezuela;
- Conducting consultations with communities vulnerable to climate risk to develop community action plans that identify localized climate adaptation strategies and providing technical assistance to implement these plans.
- Supporting at-risk communities to mainstream climate-smart, green livelihood strategies, including through the set-up of community-based climate risk monitoring and early warning systems.
IOM works with national, regional, and local authorities and communities to enhance the speed, volume, and quality of the emergency response in coordination with relevant partners, which will contribute to their improved capacity in anticipating, responding to, and recovering from an emergency. IOM’s initiatives in emergency preparedness include:
- Working with local authorities and partners in multiple sectors to enhance the coordination mechanism for emergency response and to support the review, draft, upgrade and implement their local emergency contingency plans and SoPs.
- Capacitating stakeholders through trainings on the MEND Guide (Mass Evacuations in Natural Disasters), National CCCM Guidelines and National Shelter Frameworks and supporting their operationalization at the local level.
- Conducting social activities that prepare communities for potential emergencies including through mapping of available local markets and service providers, and orientations on access to available assistance, services, and resources during emergencies.
- Supporting the assessment and mapping of local hazard risks and the conduct of contextualized, community-based emergency preparedness management simulation exercises.
- Contributing to improved understanding and awareness of local communities and authorities on climate risks, including their interrelations with conflict and other causes that influence their vulnerabilities.
- Prepositioning of lifesaving and humanitarian relief goods in strategic, disaster-prone areas, which are ready for deployment at the time of disasters, including key shelter, hygiene and NFI materials.
Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) products will be used by relevant stakeholders, including local communities, governments, institutions, working groups such as the Humanitarian Country Team, Human Mobility Working Group, Field Coordination Group, Interagency Coordination clusters, donors, UN agencies and forums, and humanitarian and development actors in Venezuela and in the region. These entities will make use of DTM products, and the data collected through flow monitoring and mobility tracking assessments to inform the multisector response and allow for prioritization.
To obtain data on migration flows and address the information needs of the overall humanitarian response in Venezuela, IOM activities will include:
- Monitoring and trend analysis of migration flows through data collection and the delivery of humanitarian communication services;
- Implementing humanitarian multisectoral needs assessments in vulnerable communities affected by human mobility;
- Undertaking statistically significant surveys to develop profiles of migrants in transit, returnees, displaced populations, and potential migrants;
- Ensuring equal representation of males and females within the data collection teams as well as key informants;
- Providing training to data collection teams on data protection and confidentiality as well as PSEA;
- Strengthening Accountability to Affected Populations by leveraging information sharing back to the communities;
- Advocating with state actors to reach a common understanding on the recognition of the Venezuelan migration situation and the establishment of a national registry in coordination with both government and non-government partners;
- Elaborate and disseminate reports on human mobility and rapid needs assessment, accessible to all clusters, to help facilitate strategic and operational decision-making of the humanitarian response.
- Conduct context analysis on international human trafficking trends at border states in Venezuela to be accessible for protection and humanitarian actors. The Working Group on Trafficking in Persons is strengthened through the drafting and dissemination of relevant information materials.
- Increased information and deeper understanding of routes, modus operandi, demographic profiles of persons at-risk, root causes, social and economic impacts of TiP and impact of Counter-Trafficking measures.
Data will be collected through multiple methodologies (registration, key informant interviews, individual and household surveys, secondary information, etc.) both in urban and rural areas and aggregated to the state level. Information products will include maps, dashboards, narrative reports and raw data, which will be shared with humanitarian partners on a regular basis. According to IOM Data Protection Principles, people´s personal data and sensitive information are always protected and anonymized. No data or information obtained within the framework of humanitarian coordination will be used for public denunciation or undermining of humanitarian efforts, or for personal or political purposes.
Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of)
The map used here is for illustration purposes only. Names and boundaries do not imply official endorsement or acceptance by IOM.Figures are as of 31 December 2022. For more details of IOM's operational capacity in country, please see the IOM Capacity section.