Low living costs, little xenophobia and a high degree of informality have made Bolivia an attractive migration country for many Venezuelans. However, the situation in the country for migrants is characterized by poverty, food insecurity and limited access to health and education services. By promoting economic integration processes, Helvetas supports Venezuelan refugees and migrant families and contributes to improving their living conditions.
Project NameIntegrate – Economic empowerment of Venezuelan families
Project Phase2021 to 2022
FundingThis project is funded by donations
Thematic focusVoice, Inclusion & Cohesion
According to official UNHCR data, as of June 2021, more than 7 million Venezuelans have been forced to leave their country due to various socio-political challenges. The vast majority remains in South America, particularly in Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, Brazil and Chile. Due to increasing xenophobia and stricter migration regulations in those countries, however, Bolivia has become more attractive to Venezuelan families in recent years.
The living conditions in Bolivia, are anything but inviting for the migrant families. Most of the migrants live in small and overcrowded rented apartments with difficult water, sanitation and hygiene conditions. They suffer from severe poverty and food insecurity, and have very limited access to health and education facilities. In addition, income opportunities are limited, resulting in women and young girls becoming victims of extortion, abuse and human trafficking.
The current Covid 19 pandemic has exacerbated this situation, as many Venezuelans lost their homes and found themselves on the streets when the quarantine started. Therefore, it is crucial to find sustainable solutions to the migration crisis and initiate comprehensive integration processes.
In recent months, the Bolivian government has already implemented several measures to ease migration regulations, allowing the Venezuelan population access to the Universal Health Service (SUS) and various legal services. However, there is still a need for support and guidance that would allow migrants to improve their living conditions by achieving economic independence through decent work and/or own businesses.
The objective of this project is therefore a holistic integration of the Venezuelan families, a process which is being supported in collaboration with our local partner, the Munasim-Kullakita Foundation (FMK).
With an economic and social empowerment approach, the joint elaboration of business plans and the establishment of solidarity networks, in support of the business sector, processes of economic integration are initiated, contributing to the gradual improvement of living conditions by providing access to basic rights and adequate nutrition.
The economic and social empowerment of Venezuelan families promotes greater social inclusion and independence for the benefit of families and the Venezuelan community. In addition, families, and especially women, gain greater control over their lives and choices, enabling them to exercise their rights and improve the quality of life not only for themselves, but also for those around them. In addition, the project takes an equal-opportunity and intercultural approach that aims to create a space for learning, exchange and innovation. In this way, Venezuelan migrants are accepted and integrated not only in terms of employment, but also culturally and socially, creating a stable and strong community.
The project is implemented together with the local NGO Munasim Kullakita Foundation (FMK), which has already implemented several projects with both, Bolivian and Venezuelan people. Helvetas complements with its experience, theoretical concepts and intervention models proved in other projects.
The project is funded by donations.