UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie just spent 3 days in Peru meeting men, women and children who’ve fled Venezuela.
The situation in Venezuela is bad right now. The economy is in free-fall and people are struggling to survive. It’s so bad, there’s a mass exodus happening – according to the UN, 2 million people have fled in the last 3 years and 400,000 of those are now in Peru. Angelina is using her platform to let us know they’ve had no choice but to leave their country – they are refugees who need to be recognised as such so they can receive the protections and support they require.
“After having spoken to so many people, it is clear to me that this is not movement by choice.” In a statement earlier this week, Angelina explains how every Venezuelan she met during her time in Peru described the situation back home as desperate: “I heard stories of people dying because of a lack of medical care and medicine: cancer patients whose chemotherapy was abruptly stopped, diabetes sufferers without access to insulin, children without basic antibiotics, people starving, and tragic accounts of violence and persecution.”
Angelina also met with President Martín Vizcarra and Foreign Minister Nestor Popolizio during her visit and praised the Peruvian government for doing what it can to help out: “As in nearly every displacement crisis, the countries that have fewer resources are being asked to do the most. I want to thank the people of Peru for their generous and resilient response to this difficult situation.”
She urged the international community to do more to support countries like Peru, Colombia and Ecuador who are taking in refugees. Angelina then finishes up her statement saying “tu causa es mi causa” which translates to “your cause is my cause.”