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Latin America with record population displacement, warns UN

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United Nations, Aug 22 (Prensa Latina) Latin America faces a maximum population displacement while the funds to assist refugees only cover one third of the needs, according to a report released here today.

The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), which provides assistance to 21.4 million refugees in the continent, warned that it requires urgent funds to continue this work, but only received barely a third of the budget required for its humanitarian operations this year.

Colombia, Venezuela, Central America and Mexico, Nicaragua and Haiti represented the most complex situations, in an increasingly aggravated context.

The agency’s indicators pointed to record population displacement in the sub-region, where one fifth of the people it provides protection and assistance to worldwide are located.

UNHCR noted that the lack of funding may affect the maintenance of safe spaces and shelters in border areas and the distribution of basic necessities.

The shortage of funds also impedes access to refugee status determination procedures and regularization and documentation processes; the distribution of cash assistance to vulnerable people; and the implementation of child protection and gender-based violence prevention activities.

In response, the agency called on governments to adopt policies in favor of refugees, asylum seekers and displaced persons, and to commit itself to the protection of the most vulnerable populations.

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