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Giving Compass' Take:
• Dany Bahar discusses how the economic crisis in Venezuela has the potential to create a refugee crisis larger than the Syrian crisis.
• How can philanthropists help other countries prepare for an influx of refugees?
• Learn more about the consequences of Venezuela's crisis.
The next refugee crisis is not being driven by a violent war but by a socioeconomic disaster of magnitudes hardly seen before.
The economic and humanitarian crisis in Venezuela is perhaps the worst that the hemisphere has seen in modern history: Without enough money to import food or basic medicine, most Venezuelans are going through severe hunger and are dying from preventable diseases.
The images of people searching for food in the garbage has become the new normal, and about three quarters of the population in the country has involuntarily lost nearly 20 lbs of weight. Meanwhile, infant mortality rates rose by 30 percent in 2016 alone ...
Under this scenario, there is something more that the international community can do: Prepare and implement a plan to deal with outgoing wave of Venezuelan refugees.
Neighboring Colombia, which is estimated to have received about 750,000 Venezuelans only in 2017 — adding up to about 2 million since 2014 — is putting together a plan to attend to migrants as they cross the border, but has also shown signs that it plans to tighten the border in order to control the flow of migrants.
Other countries in the region have reacted in different ways, but none of them have taken the initiative to provide a sustainable solution to the problem. It is time someone does.
Read the full article about Venezuela's growing refugee crisis by Dany Bahar at Brookings.