Venezuelans continue to flee their country due to violence, insecurities, threats, and lack of food, medicine and essential services. With over 6 million refugees and migrants from Venezuela – the majority of which lives in countries in Latin America and the Caribbean – this has become the second largest external displacement crisis in the world.
Women, children, and men have fled Venezuela due to polítical, socioeconomic, and human rights circumstances in their country. Many of these people arrive freightened, scared, tired, and in extreme need of assistance.
In the Dominican Republic
The humanitarian crisis in Venezuela has led over 6 million people to flee their country, with the Dominican Republic being one of the main destinations in the Americas. At the moment, there are approximately 114,000 venezuelans in the caribbean country. The majority of this people came into the country with a regular migration status since they were allowed to enter with a tourist card. However, after december 2019, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs established, through Resolution N° 006-2019, the requirement of a tourist visa for Venezuelan nationals.
Response by the Dominican Government
Due to the irregular situation caused by the expiration of visas and tourist cards, many venezuelans were left exposed to vulnerable situations. Their fundamental rights were severely affected by not having acces to the labor market, security, health, and education.
Similarly, the public health crisis generated by COVID-19 brought upon major challenges for mobility and access to regularization. The closures and restrictions due to the pandemic continued to limit job security and livelihood opportunities for refugees and migrants, which resulted in limited financial resources.
To respond to this, in January 2021, the dominican government adopted a Normalization Plan (Resolution 00119-2021) for venezuelans in the country, with the purpose of allowing alternative legal stay for those who entered the country regularly between January 2014 and March 2020, and that could meet the specified criteria.
Normalization Plan for Venezuelans (PNV)
On January 19th, 2021, the Dominican government approved a resolutions that allowed the access to the non-resident category to venezuelans who entered the country regularly between January 2014 and march 2020. The Normalization Plan for Venezuelans in the Dominican Republic was set in motion on April 12, 2021.
Information desks about the Normalization Plan are managed by Venezuelan community-based organizations. Their main role is to orient and provide assistance to those who applied to the normalization plan throughout the different stages of the process. They are located in seven strategic points, to guarantee that applicants have access to relevant information: Santo Domingo, San Cristobal, Santiago, Boca Chica, La Romana and La Altagracia provinces.
Interagency Coordination Platform for Response to Venezuela (R4V)
On April 2018, the General Secretary for the United Nations established the guidelines for IOM and UNHCR to lead and coordinate the regional response to the situation of refugees and migrants from Venezuela seeking access to rights and basic services, protection, and self-sufficiency and economic integration. Following this guideline, the Interagency Coordination Platform was established as a fórum to coordinate the response efforts in 17 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, with a particular focus on achieving coherence and consistency in the response.
At the national and subregional level, the Regional Platform is complemented with local coordination mechanisms. The national and subregional platforms that collaborate directly with host governments, are in charge of the operational coordinations and the implementation of the Regional Migrant and Refuge Response Plan (RMRP). These coordination platforms exist in Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru – at the national level – and in the Caribbean, Central America, Mexico and the Southern Cone – at the subregional level. Their structure is based on every situation context, and in the operational capacities of the governments and partners of the RMRP, taking into account existing coordination structures.
For information regarding assistance click here: Assistance for Venezuelans