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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/T003898/1
Title: GCRF Andean Network for Venezuelan Migrants
Principal Investigator: Arroyo Laguna, Dr J
Other Investigators:
Gideon, Dr J
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: School of Public Health and Admin
Organisation: Peruvian University Cayetano Heredia
Scheme: UKRI
Starts: 14 October 2019 Ends: 13 October 2021 Value (£): 148,092
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Geography and Development Global Health and Medicine
Political Science Regional Development
Social Policy
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
No relevance to Underpinning Sectors
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
28 Mar 2019 GCRF GE Networks Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Between January 2017 and December 2018, 3.2 million Venezuelans migrated from their country as a result of acute domestic political and economic crisis. The largest inflow was to the Andean countries of Latin America: Colombia (1.3 million), Ecuador (220,000), Peru (635,000) and Chile (100,000). The ongoing political and constitutional conflict in Venezuela (Jan 2019-) elevated the risk of this outflow being sustained, a mega-migration process driven by factors of expulsion rather than attraction (Michael Piore 1979).

This migratory process is unprecedented for Latin American countries, which have not developed adequate regional co-ordination mechanisms for addressing large scale hemispheric displacement. This capacity weakness is further reflected in the migrant flows from Central America to Mexico and the US, but with the Venezuela / Latin American migratory dynamic being significant due to the speed of the exodus. The 'tide of migrants' has put enormous pressures on receiving countries and revealed major weaknesses in technical and humanitarian responses that this project seeks to address.

All migration has a chain of processes for the migrant: the decision, the journey, the crossing of borders, the first contacts, the resettlement, the search for work and resocialization. This chain is difficult, but it is even more so when the migration is disruptive, as in this case, wherein the migrant risks loss of fundamental rights and protections, separation from family and other 'resilience' networks, and suffers new labour, income, gender and cultural inequalities. The tensions between Venezuela and neighbouring countries, and between Venezuelans and host communities further complicates the situation of migrants and exacerbates their vulnerabilities.

The speed, scale and context of migrant outflows has meant Venezuelans lack appropriate documentation, they do not have access to health, housing, education or social services and there has been elevated dependence on employment in poorly remunerated, informal and also criminal sectors (INEI, 2018, Baltica, Tunstall, Pickett and Gideon, 2013, Fundaredes 2018). There was consequently a mismatch in the social protection and health systems of receiving countries, which were not prepared to meet the urgent needs of this migrant population. While the Andean states have sought to address the new humanitarian and health challenge, and developed Initiatives to address this gap, a number of problems have arisen: provision has fueled resentment among populations in receiving countries; addressing migrant needs has highlighted existing deficiencies in technical and human capacity, and responses have been short term and emergency based. This has precluded co-operation and the sharing of best practice and lessons learned across Andean countries. .

The aim of the Andean network project / proposal is to strengthen the responses of countries to this new problem of mass migration, through cooperative learning. This network fits with the need to strengthen capacities and promote disciplinary and inter-disciplinary exchange, to respond to emergencies in an agile manner and from an evidence base. The project is informed by the sustainability approach of the SDGs, promoting sustainable health and well-being and sensitive to differentiated gender and generational needs.

The Andean network plans two international seminars (Lima and Bogot√°) for the exchange of experiences (hemispheric and international? Ie how did Germany cope with 1.3 million migrants / refugees, Canada also etc); four national workshops, one per country; visits to Venezuelan communities to see their situation live and collect their opinions; and communication, dissemination and sensitization activities, with a webpage, newsletters, bulletins and reports.

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