Key Figures

Venezuelans in Central America & Mexico
Costa Rica 29,405
Mexico 113,108
Panama 58,158
05 Aug 2023
People in Need 2024
PiN Blanco
Costa Rica 488.87K
México 407.26K
Panamá 430.04K
28 May 2024
Target Population 2024
Target Blanco
Costa Rica 35.36K
México 89.46K
Panamá 106.79K
28 May 2024
Financial requirements 2024
Requerimientos financieros
Costa Rica 12,56M
México 22,20M
Panamá 21,69M
28 May 2024
Partners RMRP
21 Unique Appealing Organizations
Costa Rica 7
México 11
Panamá 15
28 May 2024


The sub-region of Central America and Mexico (CAM), which includes Panama, Costa Rica, and Mexico, has experienced a significant increase in arrivals of refugees and migrants since the end of 2021. Most of these individuals are from Venezuela, intending to reach the United States. Entry restrictions imposed by sub-region countries, such as visa requirements, and the inability of most of this population to meet these requirements due to lack of economic means and documentation, have led to the use of irregular routes, smugglers' services, and increased vulnerabilities to risks such as human trafficking, exploitation, gender-based violence, and other crimes.

Following the end of a U.S. COVID-19 pandemic-era expulsion policy (known as Title 42) in May 2023, irregular movements northward decreased for a few months, partly due to uncertainties about the potential impacts of this policy change, including stricter immigration control measures. However, these movements continued and subsequently increased, with more than 520,000 people crossing the Darién jungle between Colombia and Panama in 2023 (compared to about 250,000 in 2022 and 133,000 in 2021). More than 60 percent of this population are Venezuelan nationals, many of whom had previously resided in other host countries in the region. In Darién, hundreds of cases of sexual violence were recorded in 2023, highlighting the additional vulnerabilities faced by refugee and migrant women. At the southwest U.S. border with Mexico, 360,584 encounters with Venezuelans crossing irregularly were recorded in 2023. Since the end of 2023, there has been an increase in kidnappings and extortions by organized criminal groups in Mexico.

In response to these unprecedented irregular movements, in September 2023, the government of Panama announced new coercive measures, and the government of Costa Rica declared a state of emergency. Additionally, in December 2023, the governments of Mexico and Venezuela resumed repatriation flights to Venezuela. This context of changing policies and practices in transit and destination countries and the lack of access to reliable information creates confusion among refugees and migrants, increasing their vulnerability to risks such as human trafficking, exploitation, and other crimes.

To support the integration of Venezuelan refugees and migrants with a desire to stay in the sub-region, the governments of Costa Rica and Panama launched temporary permits in 2023 for those in an irregular situation in those countries, facilitating access to formal employment and services such as health and education. Although these measures provide temporary regular status, employment, and services access for some, those who arrived more recently—and new arrivals—will not have access to these permits. The registration period for Costa Rica's special category ended in February 2024. Meanwhile, Mexico has a high rate of recognition of Venezuelan refugees according to the expanded refugee definition of the 1984 Cartagena Declaration.

In 2024, the 21 appealing partners and their implementing partners of the R4V in CAM will support governments' efforts to respond to the needs identified through the 2023 Refugee and Migrant Needs Analysis (RMNA). For refugees and migrants in transit, sectors with the greatest needs include protection, shelter, and WASH (Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene). For the destination population, needs include protection, integration, and food security, among others.

For more information on the planned response activities for 2024, please refer to the RMRP 2024 Update and the activity repository:


Document image
Handbook for the design of temporary collective accommodations in the Americas

The manual is a reference guide that provides key recommendations for the spatial planning and design of Temporary Collective Shelters in the Americas. These recommendations are based on the practical experiences accumulated by different actors in the lodging sector and other service providers. The intention of this manual is to provide the reader with criteria that will help him/her make decisions when planning and defining the location and characteristics of the different spaces that make up a Temporary Collective Accommodation. Likewise, the intention is to assess the impact that spatial decisions have on the welfare of the people assisted and their environment, with special focus on Protection, Health and Environment. The manual will be useful both for interventions in existing buildings and for new constructions.

16 April 2024
Training Material
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Regional Contacts

Janine Hutchison Helene Songe

R4V Platform Videos

Resumen del lanzamiento del Plan Regional de Respuesta para Refugiados y Migrantes 2023-2024

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Años después del inicio de la emergencia, las personas venezolanas siguen viviendo en la incertidumbre, desplazándose por rutas peligrosas y sin necesidades básicas, como la alimentación y el alojamiento, cubiertas.