This Policy Talks episode was produced with support from iAffairs Canada.
About: The country of Venezuela is in an economic free fall creating a refugee crisis on the scale of the Syrian war. As a result of government mismanagement and corruption, the currency value is plummeting, prices are hyper inflated, and gross domestic product (GDP) has fallen by over a third in the last five years. In an economy that produces little except oil, the government has cut imports by over 75 percent, choosing to use its hard currency to service the roughly $140 billion in debt and other obligations. Venezuelans daily contend with a failing economy and a shortage of basic needs like food and medicine. An estimated 1.5 million refugees have left Venezuela since early 2017, flooding into surrounding nations. According to UNHCR estimates, approximately 5,000 Venezuelans now reside in Curacao, 20,000 in Aruba, 30,000 in Brazil, 40,000 in Trinidad and Tobago and over 600,000 in Colombia. How will the region manage this large flow of people and how is the international community responding?
Images courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.