Ideas to Action:

Independent research for global prosperity

Abstract

Colombia is the largest destination country for displaced Venezuelans, hosting almost 1.8 million as of May 2020. The Government of Colombia has maintained an open and constructive response, issuing residency and work permits and providing humanitarian relief. Yet Venezuelans in Colombia still face many obstacles to economic inclusion. Consequently, Venezuelans earn less than their Colombian peers, and face high rates of poverty, widespread threats of eviction, and food insecurity. COVID-19 has exacerbated these challenges, increasing Venezuelan unemployment and exacerbating their precarious situation. This policy paper, part of the “Let Them Work” initiative, outlines the impact of COVID-19 on Colombians and Venezuelans alike, exploring the barriers both face to accessing the labor market. It then identifies practical ways in which the Government of Colombia, donors, international organizations, and NGOs, can overcome these barriers.

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