World: Latin America & the Caribbean – Monthly Humanitarian Snapshot – As of 01 August 2019

Latin America


Shelter options remain limited for Central American asylum seekers in Mexico in need of protection while waiting for their US migratory procedures – officials from the border state of Chihuahua estimate 1,000 available shelter beds. Mexico is reporting that they recorded 87,648 migrants in Mexico in July, 39 per cent fewer than in May. Foreign Ministry officials says the drop is due to increased enforcement of immigration laws and their recent multi-million-dollar investments in job creation in Central America.


The Honduran Government is allocating more than US$12 million for public institutions and municipalities to respond to the ongoing dengue outbreak. Of Honduras’ 32 public hospitals, 26 are overrun with cases; officials have postponed planned operations to manage the volume of patients. Conversely, health officials in Guatemala, who have declared a red alert over dengue, and El Salvador have said that their healthcare infrastructures currently have sufficient response capacity.


Costa Rica declared an emergency over irregular rainfall due to El Niño, noting as much as 75 per cent rainfall deficit in central Costa Rica. El Niño has also decreased rainfall in northern Nicaragua since mid-June, likely affecting the first harvest season in August. According to WFP, chronic malnutrition already affects 17 per cent of children under five in Nicaragua. Oxfam reports that ECHO-funded projects in Guatemala reduced acute malnutrition in children under five from 2.5 per cent in 2016 to 1.1 per cent in 2019.


According to the Regional Forced Displacement Monitoring and Analysis System, 67.2 and 58.6 per cent of Salvadorans and Hondurans IDPs respectively, were threatened with death in 2018. Meanwhile, Nicaraguans are struggling to obtain refuge in Costa Rica, Honduras and Panama. Costa Rica is still processing 44 per cent of its requests. Honduras faces challenges in identifying political refugees; many stay near the border, where criminal gangs are active. In Panama, migratory procedures can last up to three years.


According to a UNHCR survey based on 7,800 interviews, many Venezuelans report risks from begging, child labor and survival sex. Some 43 per cent report difficulties finding housing due to irregular status and discrimination. An assessment on the PeruChile border notes that 68 per cent of Venezuelans surveyed turned to humanitarian aid. Eighty per cent seek to enter Chile to reunite with family. Trinidad and Tobago is set to issue some 13,000 registration cards that will allow Venezuelans to work for a year.


On 19 July, the Ubinas volcano in south-eastern Peru erupted, resulting in ash carrying as far as 250 km across the Peru-Bolivia border. Nearly 30,000 people in the Arequipa, Moquegua, Puno and Tacna departments were affected by the ashfall. Peru declared a state of emergency for 60 days. The ashfall also affected some 670 families in Bolivia’s La Paz department, where authorities note impact to agriculture and the environment.
Authorities in both countries are managing response with local capacities

Leave a Reply