The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Filippo Grandi met with the Mayor of Bogota, Claudia Lopez, to express his appreciation for Bogota's efforts to welcome migrants and the importance of their inclusion in the vaccination plans against COVID-19.
At the meeting also attended by José Samaniego, Director of the UNHCR Office for the Americas and Jozef Merkx, UNHCR Representative in Colombia, the High Commissioner expressed the great interest of UNHCR in working jointly with the District for the inclusion of the migrant population with the formulation and implementation of public policies and social programs and in the prevention of xenophobia.
“To date, Bogotá has welcomed 333,894 Venezuelan migrants, which has meant taking on great challenges on all fronts; We are the only city in Colombia that has a Migrant Attention Rout, we have invested close to $ 50 billion for health care for the migrant population and our schools have opened the doors to more than 45 thousand students from Venezuela" said Mayor Claudia Lopez, who thanked the High Commissioner for the support of UNHCR in the humanitarian response to care for a population coming from migratory flows with help consisting of food, cash transfers and accommodation.
This meeting also addressed the challenges of the National Vaccination Plan, about which UNHCR reiterated its interest in having migrants included in these immunization plans against COVID-19 and that this constitutes an effort that generates incentives for the regularization of this population. He also offered its support in actions aimed at locating and registering the migrant population for vaccination.
Finally, Mayor Claudia López reaffirmed her commitment to socio-economic and cultural inclusion, the fight against xenophobia and the importance of joining efforts with the National Government to support the regularization of the migrant population from Venezuela.