The Venezuelan refugee crisis in Ecuador
The Venezuelan refugee crisis in Ecuador is concerning due to the large numbers of people that have been forced to flee the country for political, economic, and social reasons. To worsen the situation, most Venezuelan refugees in Ecuador (among other receiving countries) have and continue to face several challenges, including discrimination, unemployment, lack of access to basic services, and insecurity.
AVSI has supported Venezuelan refugees and migrants in Ecuador since the beginning of the crisis, providing humanitarian assistance and socio-economic integration assistance, to ultimately improve the lives of Venezuelans and Ecuadorians.
Carla's dream: start-up a bakery in Ecuador as her one in Venezuela
Carla is a 35-year-old refugee from Venezuela who lives in Santa Rita, a neighborhood in Quito-Ecuador. She is a wife, mother of two children, and homemaker; she and her family have lived in the country for 5 years, but just arrived in Quito only three months ago, because in another city she was a victim of extortion.
In Venezuela, Carla and her husband owned a bakery and with hopes of making that a reality in Ecuador.
Now, fulfilling that dream again is achievable, all thanks to the “Integrados” project, funded by U.S. Department of State: Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration.
I feel like I can have my own bakery here too. Thanks to the “Integrados” project's support, I participated in an employment workshop, and can earn a living. Now, they are going to help me start my business again here in EcuadorCarla, beneficiary of the Integrados project
Livelihoods are crucial for refugees to rebuild their lives and achieve long-term self-reliance and independence, Carla has thought of buying a counter and an oven to start making bread and, later, selling her products. Through this business, Carla hopes to give her children a good education and start a better life, as she always wanted.
She has received a habitability kit and other useful opportunities, such as participating in workshops on health, education, human and housing rights. Carla is grateful for being welcomed in an inclusive community that provides a sense of stability and security for her and her family.
Carla's story is just one example of the many Venezuelan refugees who have found a new home in Ecuador, thanks to the support of organizations like AVSI. By providing refugees with access to employment opportunities, education, and basic services, initiatives (such as the "Integrados” project) help refugees like Carla rebuild their lives and achieve their dreams. It is important to continue supporting the integration of refugees in their new communities, so that they can contribute to the society and economy in their host country, and most importantly, live with dignity and respect.
About the “Integrados” project
The "Integrados” project, implemented by AVSI and funded by the US Department of State, Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM), provides humanitarian assistance to the migrant and refugee populations and strengthening local protection networks through the active participation of the host community.
Protection, Shelter and Livelihoods for Venezuelan refugees and host community
- protection: help migrant and refugee families to access services that support their local integration while strengthening community capacities to enhance their resilience.
- shelter: to improve the living conditions of families, through enhancing community infrastructure with the aim of promoting harmonious coexistence between the host and migrant/refugee community and promoting the sustainability of shelters to ensure the provision of their services long term.
- livelihoods: to promote the socio-economic integration of the migrant and host population through programs that strengthen their income generation skills.
From this approach, AVSI supports the families affected by the Venezuelan crisis in Ecuador while also accompanying host communities to strengthen their resilience.