Diaspora

Haiti, Honduras and Venezuela to face humanitarian risks with regional impact in 2022 if unaddressed: IRC warns – International Rescue Committee

Haiti, Honduras and Venezuela are the three countries in Latin America and the Caribbean deemed most at risk of humanitarian deterioration over the year ahead, according to the 2022 Emergency Watchlist, a report by the International Rescue Committee (IRC).
IRC analysis has identified how the global humanitarian system, which is designed to protect civilians, prevent conflict, hold abusers to account, and guarantee that aid reaches those in need, is failing at all levels. The 2022 Emergency Watchlist reveals that this system failure is even fueling the crises, driving displacement, and increasing the needs. 
In Latin America and the Caribbean, the system failure has particularly harmed Haiti, Honduras and Venezuela, which have experienced deteriorating living conditions throughout the years and today are home to almost 15 million people in need of aid. During 2022, the countries are expected to face humanitarian risks spanning from ongoing conflict and violence, to higher vulnerability to the effects of natural disasters and climate change, the consequences of COVID-19, and more. 
Meghan Lopez, Regional Vice President for Latin America at the International Rescue Committee, said:
“Last year, we saw how Haitians, Hondurans and Venezuelans endured terrible challenges that forced hundreds of thousands to leave their homes and try to find safety within their own countries first. Unfortunately, as we have historically seen, people usually encounter similar situations to those they escaped, and are left with no choice but to continue their journeys and look for alternatives elsewhere.
“The amount of displaced people is a result of emergencies that have been escalating and that, if the international community fails to address, will undoubtedly shape the region this year. They will contribute to the expansion of humanitarian crises not only within, but beyond their borders; we have already seen this happen at the Darien Gap, across the migration corridors in Mexico, and in host countries, like Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. As Latin America increasingly becomes a route for those in need of protection (even from very distant places, like Afghanistan), and needs continue to rise, more international funding and cooperation will be key to respond across the arc of the crisis.”
Among other risks, the IRC identified three that the Latin American countries have in common:
Ongoing conflict and growing violence
Vulnerability to natural disasters and climate change
COVID-19 and its effects 
The IRC calls for a “Total System Upgrade” to address the consequences of the system failures seen in Watchlist countries. This will require a dual response, with more effective humanitarian action that tackles the symptoms and better serves the victims, while also tackling the roots of the problem. 
Read the full report, with more insights from each country and the IRC’s recommendations for addressing the System Failure here.
The IRC in Latin America
The IRC is responding across the arc of the crisis in Latin America: delivering a population-based response to the Venezuela crisis in Colombia, Ecuador and through local partners in Venezuela; supporting vulnerable people in northern Central America (Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador) and along the main migration corridors in Mexico, from the southern to the northern borders. 
The IRC’s current programming includes supporting women’s protection and empowerment, including prevention and protection of women, girls and members of the LGBTQ+ community who have been survivors of gender-based violence; economic recovery and development; primary, sexual and reproductive health; mental health and psychosocial support; cultural orientation; and access to critical information through InfoPa’lante in Colombia, CuéntaNos in northern Central America and InfoDigna in Mexico, all of them part of the Global Signpost project. 
Additionally, after the earthquake that hit Haiti in August 2021, IRC provided funding to support the work of FOSREF, FADHRIS and Kay Fanm, local organizations implementing activities to satisfy priority needs.
The International Rescue Committee responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises, helping to restore health, safety, education, economic wellbeing, and power to people devastated by conflict and disaster. Founded in 1933 at the call of Albert Einstein, the IRC is at work in over 40 countries and over 20 U.S. cities helping people to survive, reclaim control of their future, and strengthen their communities. Learn more at www.rescue.org and follow the IRC on Twitter & Facebook.
Get the latest news about the IRC’s innovative programs, compelling stories about our clients and how you can make a difference.

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