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Canada and PADF to Improve Educational and Medical Services for Displaced Venezuelans in Brazil

Venezuelan families have made living arrangements all around the shelter in Boa Vista, Roraima, Brazil.

Venezuelan families have made living arrangements all around the shelter in Boa Vista, Roraima, Brazil.

Brazilian shelter will receive a medical clinic and a school, thanks to a partnership between Global Affairs Canada and PADF.

On October 26, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada announced a partnership with PADF to improve the conditions for education and medical attention at a refugee and migrant shelter in Boa Vista, Roraima, Brazil. The announcement comes in the wake of an influx of Venezuelan refugees and migrants fleeing the humanitarian crisis in their home country.

Venezuelans who have arrived in Brazil urgently need services like schools and medical clinics. Brazil’s northern state of Roraima is struggling to cope with the quantity of migrants and refugees, as tens of thousands of Venezuelans have crossed the border into Brazil.

The Brazilian shelter, the Immigrant Reference Center, is operated by Fraternidade - International Humanitarian Federation. It will receive two converted shipping containers outfitted windows, flooring, air conditioning and electricity. They will be stocked with educational and medical supplies for immediate use. Currently, the shelter has no dedicated space for learning or medical attention. However, the addition of the two containers provides the necessary privacy for a productive classroom and medical services. 

The school and clinic are two of the Center's many needs given the influx of newcomers requiring assistance. Additional needs include food, medication, legal assistance, employment and reliable transportation.


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PADF's Response

PADF is leading an international response to the growing Venezuelan refugee and migrant crisis in Brazil.

Credit: Folha de S. Paulo

An estimated 30,000 Venezuelans have emigrated to Roraima in the wake of the economic, social, and political crises in their home country.

Boa Vista, the state capital of Roraima, has received the largest influx of newcomers, becoming the area most impacted by the refugee and migrant crisis. The city is struggling to keep up with the needs of thousands of refugees and migrants and has only one shelter, the Immigrant Reference Center, run by local religious organization Fraternidade – International Humanitarian Federation. The Immigrant Reference Center is the only official shelter established in Roraima to house and provide assistance to migrants and refugees. Donated by the state government of Roraima, the shelter is a focal point and reference for the response to the migration crisis in the state. It is administered by the all-volunteer staff with the support of local residents, businesses, and organizations. The vast majority of Venezuelans in the shelter are indigenous Warao individuals, and approximately half are children under the age of 18.

Residents in the shelter have few resources rely on the shelter for support. One of the shelter's primary limitations is its lack of space and infrastructure. It has been converted from a gym to a shelter, and it has little privacy and no dedicated space for education or medical attention. The school and clinic are two of the Center's many needs. The shelter also needs food, medication, legal assistance, employment and reliable transportation.

PADF will send two converted shipping containers to the shelter, sourced from a local Brazilian supplier. The containers will contain air conditioning, windows, flooring, restrooms, electrical outlets and other amenities. The containers will also come stocked with medical and educational supplies so that they can serve as functional educational and medical spaces within a short time.

This assistance is part of PADF’s larger effort to respond to the Venezuelan refugee and migrant crisis in Brazil. As a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization affiliated with the Organization of American States, PADF is leading an international campaign to assist local institutional institutions and relief efforts and has launched a campaign to raise US$100,000 to support local shelters and displaced Venezuelans through contributions from government institutions, foundations, philanthropists and individuals.


Support Venezuelan humanitarian crisis refugees now:

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Credit: Human Rights Watch

Human Rights Watch

Venezuela Humanitarian Crisis: Regional Response Urgently Needed

"Thousands have gone to Brazil, many entering via the border that Venezuela shares with the Brazilian state of Roraima. Some seek protection there as refugees, others seek temporary work, while others make visits seeking desperately needed medical care. The unprecedented influx of Venezuelans is straining Roraima’s already overburdened public health care system and clogging Brazil’s system for processing asylum applications." Read more.

Local Media - Globo Notícias

Boa Vista becomes destination for a legion of refugees from Venezuela

"The second stop for Venezuelans arriving in Brazil is the capital of Roraima , Boa Vista. Many go to other cities or try to start life in other countries in South America, but many people stay in Boa Vista in makeshift shelters.

Boa Vista has become the destination of a legion of hungry, desperate people trying to find a new course for life. Venezuela in those who left everything behind by absolute lack of perspective in the native land. For many, life is starting again at 20, 25, 30, 40 years." Read more.

Credit: Globo Comunicação e Participações SA

Credit: Globo Comunicação e Participações SA

How Your Contribution Helps

Your contribution will go toward our relief efforts for Venezuelan migrants and refugees. We have partnered with the Immigrant Reference Center in Boa Vista, Roraima, Brazil, and your donation will go toward supporting the shelter. With your help, we can serve displaced Venezuelans who are taking shelter in Brazil.

PADF has an extensive network in the region that includes community based organizations in the affected areas. As the humanitarian arm of the Organization of American States (OAS), PADF responds to the region's major natural disasters and humanitarian crises.

About the Immigrant Reference Center
Run by the Fraternidade International Humanitarian Federation, the Immigrant Reference Center in Boa Vista is the focal point for assisting Venezuelan refugees and migrants in northern Brazil. They provide three meals per day, hygiene products, medical services, job placement and limited legal assistance. Improving conditions at this shelter and strengthening Fraternidade’s capacity to serve Venezuelans throughout Roraima are vital first steps in helping refugees and migrants in the area. The shelter currently houses approximately 280 Venezuelans, but it is ill-suited for long-term stays. There are no areas for privacy, medical attention, or on-site administrative work, and many refugees and migrants sleep on the concrete floor. The shelter also lacks adequate restrooms and transport to shuttle refugees and migrants elsewhere or aid them in traveling to complete actions for attaining refugee status.

Why Give to PADF?


PADF’s top priority is to make a lasting and sustainable impact in the lives of millions of people in the Americas.

To achieve this, we work with public, corporate and private supporters like you to create sustainable jobs and improve livelihoods, upgrade community services, strengthen civil society and organizations, and aid victims of natural and humanitarian crises. By making a tax-deductible gift you are helping fulfill our mission to create a Hemisphere of Opportunity for All.