New York, NY, October 18, 2022 — As humanitarian crises evolve and expand across Latin America, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) presented an analysis of information search trends in relation to the needs of Venezuelans in Colombia, people in and from northern Central America and along the migration corridors in Mexico.
The IRC has implemented three digital information platforms in the region to support people in humanitarian contexts: InfoDigna in Mexico; CuéntaNos in northern Central America; and InfoPa’lante, in response to the needs of Venezuelans in Colombia and Ecuador. After analyzing information searches by the users of all three platforms during the first half of 2022, the IRC identified that:
- A quarter of the visits in Mexico were related to aspects like safety, security and health care.
- More than half of visits in northern Central America were related to mental health guidance.
- At least 16% of visits in Colombia were related to regularization processes for Venezuelans.
Julio Rank Wright, Acting Vice President for the IRC in Latin America, said:
“When people experience a humanitarian crisis, having access to reliable information can make the difference between encountering danger or reaching safety. Clear communication, accurate sources of information and referrals to trustworthy service providers are key in decision-making moments.
“With InfoDigna, CuéntaNos and InfoPa’lante, we strive to support people across Latin America who are living in need of humanitarian aid during such decision-making moments. Whether in their host communities, in transit or while integrating into a new community, we put access to information at their service to help them survive, recover and rebuild their lives.”
Mexico: Information on the Way
Since 2020, the IRC’s InfoDigna has supported displaced populations along the main migration corridors in the country. After analyzing a sample of the ten most visited contents, the IRC identified that users of the platform mainly looked for information related to:
- Displacement throughout Mexico (25% of visits), including aspects like alternatives to find people who were detained in the country; getting access to COVID-19 vaccines; and paying for fines resulting from the expiration of the immigration permit, a requirement to exit the country.
- Northern border issues (21% of visits), especially in relation to finding people detained in the United States—which was the most visited content among all topics—and understanding Title 42.
- Migration and regularization issues in Mexico (6% of visits), mainly looking for information about the process to get the Multiple Immigration Form (FMM) and obtaining Mexican nationality.
Northern Central America: Support in the Middle of the Crisis
The IRC launched CuéntaNos in 2018, in anticipation of the termination of the Temporary Protected Status for Salvadorans in the United States. Since then, the IRC has expanded CuéntaNos to Guatemala and Honduras. After analyzing the ten most visited contents across all topics by country, the IRC identified that:
- Mental health was the most sought-after content in every country, representing 57% of the total of sampled visits to contents that address aspects like the access to free psychosocial support or overcoming difficult situations.
- Information focused on women was the second most relevant topic–getting at least 11% of the sampled visits–as users searched mostly for guidance on prevention and response to gender-based violence.
Colombia: Meeting Venezuelans in the Largest Host Community
Through InfoPa’lante, the IRC has supported people who have arrived in Colombia from Venezuela in their integration process since 2020—recently expanding the Signpost instance to Ecuador. During the first semester of this year, the main information needs of Venezuelans in Colombia were related to:
- Regularization processes (36% of visits), with Venezuelans looking for guidance on the different stages of the Temporary Protected Status.
- Border affairs (15% of visits), including aspects like the operation hours of the bridges, requirement to enter Colombia and/or Venezuela, risks related to irregular border crossings, among others.
- Obtaining Colombian nationality (12% of sampled visits), being an article related to applying for the passport the most visited content across the whole platform.
InfoDigna, CuéntaNos and Infopa’lante are digital information platforms part of the global Signpost project, which are powered by Zendesk. Signpost empowers users to make informed decisions about how to stay safe and access essential services and focuses on communities through two-way, dynamic communication.
The IRC in Latin America
The IRC is responding across the arc of the crisis in Latin America. Currently, the IRC’s work focuses on: protection for women, children and members of the LGBTQ+ community, including prevention and response to gender-based violence; economic wellbeing trough emergency cash relief and livelihoods programs; primary, sexual and reproductive health; mental health and psychosocial support; education; early childhood development; and cultural orientation. To empower people in key decision-making moments, the IRC also promotes access to critical information across Latin America through InfoPa’lante, CuéntaNos and InfoDigna, digital platforms that are part of the Global Signpost project.