Rapid Needs Assessment for Vulnerable Venezuelans in Colombia

Girl sitting outside with clothes hanging nearby
May 07, 2018

Members of Mercy Corps’ Colombia and emergency response teams traveled to the La Guajira and César departments of Colombia, along the Colombia/Venezuela border, in mid-March 2018 to conduct focus group discussions and key informant interviews with Colombians and Venezuelans. The main objective of the rapid assessment was to better understand the situation of vulnerable Venezuelans near the border. Specifically:

  1. Better understand the needs of Venezuelan and Colombian families in Riohacha, La Guajira department;
  2. Assess the markets and if they can provide what is needed and at what prices;
  3. Identify the intentions of Venezuelan families, if they would like to return to Venezuela, stay in Colombia or go to another location;
  4. Make programming recommendations based on the findings

The main needs expressed by Venezuelan interviewees in all locations included:

  1. A path to legal entry in Colombia that does not involve passports
  2. The legal right to work in Colombia with the same wages and protections as Colombians
  3. Access to shelter, food, and water

It is important to note that the results of the individual surveys and focus group discussions only represent major trends at the time of the assessment. Due to the limited time available to conduct this rapid assessment, Mercy Corps was unable to conduct enough individual surveys required for a statistically reliable sample. Information and data collected during six focus groups and key informant interviews were reviewed and compiled for each community and a summary of results was created, highlighting the major conclusions and key findings.

Download the full assessment here ▸