On the border with Colombia, a decrease in the number of returnees due to the COVID-19 pandemic has been reported, associated with the economic reactivation in the country. The opening of economic activities has also created an incentive for people, including women, children and adolescents and unaccompanied adolescents, to leave, especially through informal crossings, since the borders remain formally closed. The conditions of these movements take place expose women, children and adolescents to protection risks, including physical, psychological, and sexual violence.
Access to health services remains a major problem for the elderly, children and adolescents with disabilities or diseases, and pregnant women and adolescents, with reports showing an increase in deaths and cases with irreversible consequences. In addition, access to mental health services is a challenge for adolescents, who are increasingly vulnerable due to quarantine.
Despite the reduction of PASIs, the most vulnerable continue to need protection services.
In September, Cluster partners reached 157,351 women, men, children and adolescents with activities in all 23 states and the Capital District. The states with the most beneficiaries were Bolivar (42,145), Miranda (25,201), Capital District (12,351), Zulia (11,691) and Amazonas (10,494).
A total of 205 children and adolescents, at-risk adults and elderly people were reached with specialized services, including individual psychosocial care. In addition, 11 at-risk adults, children and adolescents benefited from access to legal documentation. A total of 1,083 people with specific needs for material assistance were reached and 17,036 people from communities and institutions had their capacities to prevent and mitigate protection risks strengthened. Moreover, 8,243 people benefited from the strengthening of community centers and spaces. A total of 4,619 people benefited from the strengthening of state institutions in Apure (Ombudsman's Office and CONARE), Falcon (Ombudsman's Office), Tachira (CONARE) and Bolivar (Ombudsman's Office) through the provision of material assistance to ensure the rights of people with specific needs in those states.
A total of 1,133 girls, adolescents and adult women accessed GBV response services, including case management services (359), legal support (68) and individual psychosocial assistance (253). A total of 10,825 children and adolescents benefited from GBV prevention activities reaching 1,408 girls and adult women benefited from the delivery of dignity kits, training on GBV prevention and mitigation (7,361) and the establishment of safe spaces in communities across the Capital District, Miranda, Zulia, Tachira and Apure, including 17 PASIs in Miranda and the Capital District. In addition, 646 civil servants from state institutions and civil society received training on GBV prevention and mitigation to strengthen their capacity to respond to GBV.
A total of 12,028 children and adolescents at risk (the majority between 5 and 17 years old) and their caregivers benefited from access to individual and group psychosocial support activities. In addition, 48,520 children, mostly under 3 months old, had access to birth certificates in hospitals (of these, 94 were civil birth registrations) and 10,316 affected and at-risk children and adolescents were able to access administrative services and child protection programmes. A total of 35,835 people from communities were trained on child protection issues (including the Guía Protege) and 7,304 people from state institutions with responsibility for child protection and members of NGOs were given material assistance and training in preventing and responding to violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation of children.
Despite the significant protection needs identified in Tachira state, which receives the largest number of returnees, the response of the Protection Cluster partners in September was maintained at the level of August, reaching 8,100 people.
There are bottlenecks associated with mobility restrictions due to quarantine measures, especially during the weeks of radical quarantine. Regular constraints in the provision of public services with prolonged power outages and fuel shortages are a challenge for response activities such as provision of documentation, birth registration or GBV response.
Indigenous communities, particularly children and adolescents in isolated and hard-to-reach areas, remain among the most vulnerable groups for humanitarian response.