United Nations Representatives Visit the Scalabrinian Mission of Cucuta, Colombia as Part of Their Interest in Understanding the Complex Situation at the Border with Venezuela

Gerad Gómez and Wendy Cue, representatives of the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), for Colombia and Central and South America respectively, interested in understanding the complex situation that exists along the Colombian-Venezuelan border as a result of massive deportations, visited places known for their activities in aid of the deportees. Among these were “Migración Colombia” and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Colombia.

They also traveled to the Mission of the Missionaries of Saint Charles – Scalabrinians, noted for its work for more than forty years in favor of the migrant population. First they visited the Migration Center to learn about its services, beneficiaries, and other institutional arrangements.  The slow but steady increase in “economic migrants” who are mostly from Venezuela and looking to improve their opportunities for work is of great concern to officials. They then moved on to the neighborhoods where the Scalabrininians have concentrated their humanitarian efforts, escorted by Father Francesco Bortignon, Director of the Mission. There they could see what had already been discussed by way of statistics and a “barreal” diagnosis that has been being developed for months: Venezuelan families whose members have not been able to find jobs, which exacerbates the difficult situation within these homes.

OCHA representatives agreed to try to find resources for a project to alleviate the situation.