Quito, Ecuador, July 19, 2022 — The International Rescue Committee (IRC), with support from the European Union, and in partnership with the local organization Alas de Colibrí, launched InfoPa’lante Ecuador, an online orientation service to help displaced Venezuelans in the country access reliable information and identify organizations that provide critical services.
According to an assessment conducted ahead of the launch of InfoPa’lante Ecuador, Venezuelans’ information needs are mostly related to:
- Understanding their rights according to Ecuador’s Constitution and international law and regularizing their immigration status.
- Accessing public services, including health care and education.
- Having internal transportation and accommodation alternatives.
- Finding a job.
Through InfoPa’lante Ecuador—part of the global Signpost project—the IRC will provide access to information that is relevant for Venezuelans, whether they are in transit or in the process of resettling in the country. The orientation service will offer updated and accessible content based on trustworthy sources. Additionally, InfoPa’lante will map verified organizations that provide services for Venezuelans and refer users according to their needs. To date, more than 25 organizations from the civil society, international cooperation and public sectors are in process of being integrated to the service mapping, offering support related to legal counseling, access to the education system, protection for the LGBTQ+ community and more. In upcoming months, the IRC will expand the network of participating organizations.
Marianne Menjivar, Director of the Venezuela Crisis Response at the International Rescue Committee (IRC), said:
“Life continues to be extremely difficult for Venezuelans, even after arriving in neighboring countries. Access to reliable information, including the identification of organizations that can provide vital services, is key to support the more than 500,000 Venezuelans who are trying to rebuild their lives in Ecuador. Through InfoPa’lante we can support them in making informed decisions and access services in safe and dignified conditions, whether they are in transit or already in process of resettling in their new communities.
“While Latin American countries like Ecuador have hosted a vast number of Venezuelans—despite insufficient international funding and support—a combination of differing immigration policies, overstretched national systems, and the effects of COVID-19 are putting pressure on their capacity to respond. We call for the international community to allocate enough funding that allows for the development of a comprehensive response to the Venezuela crisis, based on the needs of the population in the places where they are.”
Signpost empowers users to make informed decisions about how to stay safe and access essential services. Signpost focuses on communities through two-way, dynamic communication and is delivered through local teams under culturally appropriate names.
The IRC is committed to filling information gaps across all of Latin America. Signpost is currently active in El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, called CuéntaNos; in Mexico, the instance is called InfoDigna; and in Colombia has already been operating under the name of InfoPa’lante to support Venezuelans since 2020. Founded in 2015 with Mercy Corps, our Signpost global partner, Signpost was first deployed in Greece to respond directly to refugees and asylum seekers reaching its shores during the height of the refugee crisis in the Mediterranean.
The IRC’s response to the Venezuela crisis
The IRC is on the ground delivering a collective response to support Venezuelans holistically—and timely—where they need it most: implementing programming with a mixed model of partnerships with local organizations and direct implementation in Colombia, Ecuador and Peru, and providing support for populations at risk through local organizations in Venezuela.