The Venezuela regional migration crisis disproportionately impacts women, young men and children, particularly due to heightened risks of gender-based violence (GBV). Of the Venezuelans who have left and crossed international borders, it is estimated that at least 40 percent are women, and over 25 percent are children and adolescents. Migrant women and girls are often targeted at the trochas, land border crossing points controlled by criminal groups and trafficking networks, thereby increasing the probability that they will experience sexual violence in exchange for safe passage.
There is a growing use of illegal routes by Venezuelan migrants entering the Caribbean and passage may be through smugglers. These routes are particularly dangerous for women and children who are more vulnerable to exploitation, human trafficking, and GBV.
Despite neighboring countries' generosity and efforts to welcome Venezuelans, many governments and communities are struggling to provide basic services to migrant communities due to lack of resources and infrastructure, and now a global pandemic. With the lack of required documentation to access basic services in their host communities including, healthcare, justice, and the ability to obtain formal employment, many migrants are being forced into informal economies.
As a result, women and girls often enter into the informal economy for survival, which puts them at higher risk for child labor and transactional sex. Even before the Venezuelan migration crisis began, the International Labour Organization (ILO) estimated that 126 million women and girls in Latin America and the Caribbean work in the informal sector for low wages without legal and social protections. As the crisis continues, especially in the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) context, these numbers are likely to increase.
In Central America and the Caribbean, the situation is turning critical. According to Panama’s National Migration Service (SNM), while 698 Venezuelans entered the country through dangerous, isolated areas of the Panamanian border in January 2019, this number rose to over 1,500 by January 2020.
Here's What We Can Do
The BetterTogether Challenge is founded on the certainty that the world's collective genius has the ability to develop innovative solutions to mitigate the regional crisis. We are seeking expertise, ingenuity, resources, and networks to develop transformative solutions to prevent and respond to GBV experienced by Venezuelans in Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, and Panama.
In addition to funding, the Challenge winners will be eligible for technical assistance, access to networks and potential partners, and publicity.
How to Apply
Any organization around the world is welcome to submit a transformative approach to addressing GBV experienced by Venezuelan migrants and their host communities, particularly in Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, and Panama.
These solutions should demonstrate a strong understanding of the needs and priorities of Venezuelans experiencing GBV and the communities hosting them, and be prepared to respond to extraordinary circumstances, such as COVID-19.
Proposals must consider that this program ends in September 2021 without the possibility of additional Challenge funding. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis, in the order they are received until September 30, 2020. Challenge funds are awarded via the Challenge's Application page.
Once you are ready to submit your application, make sure to check this box on the system: (i) violencia de género / gender-based violence (GBV).
How to Know if You Qualify
We will fund solutions with the potential to transform the lives of Venezuelan migrants at risk of GBV and enhance available GBV resources in their host communities. We are particularly interested in solutions that target the most vulnerable migrant populations, such as women, children, youth, LGBTI, minority and indigenous groups, the elderly, and GBV survivors. Solutions should be tailored to the local context and empower and collaborate with local partners. These solutions should be tailored to the cultural context, including power dynamics and social norms. Types of solutions may include:
For additional resources, make sure to visit the Challenge's page on What We are Not Looking For, as well as our free webinar on drafting a successful proposal and self-evaluation checklist for your application.
The BetterTogether Challenge is a global initiative to crowdsource, fund, and scale forward-thinking solutions from anywhere in the world to support Venezuelans and host communities affected by the regional crisis. BetterTogether is a partnership of the U.S. Agency for International Development and the Inter-American Development Bank.
The information provided on this website is not official U.S. Government information and does not represent the views or positions of the U.S. Agency for International Development or the U.S. Government. The information also cannot be attributed to the Inter-American Development Bank, its representatives, or member countries.