Giving Compass' Take:

• Provash Budden explains that as the Venezuela crisis continues to unfold the international community needs to prepare for the protracted refugee crisis that is forming.

• How can funders work to develop and execute a strategy that can begin to address this crisis? 

• Learn more about the refugee crisis in Venezuela

The geopolitical face-off around Venezuela and growing unrest inside the country continue to command the world’s attention. Yet this is only the latest chapter in the upheaval of a country in serious tumult. And it foreshadows a continued exodus of Venezuelans and the deepening of a regional humanitarian crisis.

It would be naive to think Venezuela will soon stabilize and that people will return and resume their normal lives. After recent efforts to get U.S. aid into Venezuela largely failed, U.S. vice president Mike Pence met with Lima Group members in Bogota to discuss escalating pressure against Nicolas Maduro, Venezuela’s president, including new sanctions. The likelihood of more forceful international intervention at this point is anyone’s guess. But even if new elections are called or new humanitarian assistance flows into the country, more Venezuelans will continue to arrive in neighboring countries with little more than the clothes on their backs, and meeting their basic needs will be critically important.

Beyond short-term aid, regional governments working alongside international organizations, the private sector and civil-society groups must start putting in place long-term solutions for Venezuelans who may never return home, and for the neighboring countries that will host them for years to come.

Venezuela has already seen some 3 million of its citizens flee amid the extreme political and economic turbulence of recent years. Four out of every 10 people still in Venezuela want to leave. The United Nations estimates there will be a total of 5.3 million Venezuelan refugees and migrants by the end of this year, rivaling the scale of the Syrian refugee crisis and stretching the capacity of Venezuela’s neighbors to their limits. The government of Colombia predicts that by 2021 it may host 4 million Venezuelans, and it would take $9 billion to support them.

Read the full article about treating Venezuela as a protracted refugee crisis by Provash Budden at News Deeply.