As Venezuela reopens border to Colombia, UN envoy Angelina Jolie urges support for 20,000 stateless children
Thousands of people crossed into Colombia on Saturday to buy food and medicine after Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro reopened a border between the countries that had been shut down for the past four months. With the reopening, a flood of people seized on the opportunity to secure items that are all but unattainable in Venezuela.
The once-wealthy oil nation is now facing severe shortages of basic goods and hyperinflation that is expected to surpass 10 million per cent this year, according to a recent IMF estimate.
The chaos has been further aggravated by US sanctions on Venezuelan oil exports and has forced an estimated 5,000 people to leave the country each day, according to the United Nation’s High Commissioner for Refugees.
On Saturday, the UNHCR’s special envoy Angelina Jolie met with Colombian President Ivan Duque to advocate for the estimated 20,000 children of Venezuelan migrants left with uncertain status after their parents fled their crisis-wracked home country. In a meeting in the port city of Cartagena, the American actress urged Duque to resolve the legal limbo facing the children since Colombia does not automatically recognize children born in its territory as nationals.
[South China Morning Post]