Ambassador of Canada to Inaugurate Critical Services to Assist Venezuelan Migrants and Refugees

Boa Vista, Roraima, Brazil (February 2, 2018) - The Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) and Fraternidade International Humanitarian Federation are proud to welcome Ambassador Riccardo Savone to inaugurate two pressing humanitarian initiatives funded by the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI) that will assist Venezuelan refugees and migrants living in Brazil’s Roraima state.

Mr. Savone, the Ambassador of Canada to the Federative Republic of Brazil, will inaugurate a clinic and a school for Venezuelans refugees and migrants living at the Immigrant Reference Center in Boa Vista at ceremony on Monday, February 5 at 11 a.m. Mr. Savone will be accompanied by Captain Réal Brisson, Army, Navy, and Air Force Attaché, as well as Nadine Khoury, Second Secretary for Political and Public Affairs. The school and clinic were constructed from converted shipping containers. 

“Due to the worsening economic, political, and humanitarian situation in Venezuela, more than 30,000 Venezuelans have crossed the border into Roraima, searching for better conditions,” said Paulo Cavalcanti, PADF’s Country Representative in Brazil. “PADF is spearheading an international response to improve their quality of life, and we are grateful for Canada’s support to this initiative.”

The school and clinic, implemented by PADF, will serve primarily indigenous migrants and refugees at the shelter. The clinic will provide a private and sanitary location for doctors and nurses form government agencies and non-profit organizations to treat medical problems.

Meanwhile, the school will allow children to receive primary education and allow adults to receive language and workforce preparedness classes. Classes at the school will be led by volunteers from local NGO Fraternidade, the Federal University of Roraima (UFRR), and the Casa de los Niños, along with indigenous professors.

At the same time, Ambassador Savone will officially announce a new project with Fraternidade, also supported by PADF, to provide food and hygiene kits to more than 1,000 Venezuelans living at the Tancredo Neves Gymnasium in the Caimbé neighborhood, also in Boa Vista. “The Venezuelans we serve, the majority of whom are indigenous, have myriad needs such as food, housing, healthcare, employment, and legal assistance,” said Clara dos Santos, head of Fraternidade’s mission in Roraima. 

The two shelters are coordinated by the State Civil Defense Office of Coordination (CEDEC), the state government agency leading and organizing local response. PADF and Fraternidade will work in coordination with CEDEC, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and local and international agencies and organizations to ensure Venezuelan migrants and refugees receive the services they need.

Fraternidade International Humanitarian Federation is non-profit humanitarian assistance organization based in Minas Gerais that sends humanitarian missions to serve the needy around the world. Since November 2016, it has been providing essential services for Venezuelans living in Roraima, such as meals, refuge, health services, recreational activities, and employment assistance.

The Pan American Development Foundation is a non-governmental organization with headquarters in Washington and a local office in Brazil. Since its founding by the Organization of American States (OAS) in 1962, PADF has worked across Latin America and the Caribbean to assist vulnerable and excluded individuals, including refugees and migrants. PADF has helped serve the needs of thousands of displaced people in Colombia, Haiti and Brazil.

PADF and Fraternidade thank CEDEC and UNHCR for coordinating to make these projects possible. For more information about this project, visit