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UN agencies to launch regional plan for Venezuelan refugees


United Nations, Nov 14 (IANS) Two UN agencies are launching a $1.35 billion plan to aid millions of people who have fled Venezuela, as well as their host communities, a UN spokesman said.

The UN Refugee Agency and the International Organisation for Migration regional plan includes actions in nine key sectors: health, education, food security, integration, protection, nutrition, shelter, relief items and humanitarian transport, as well as water, sanitation and hygiene, said Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday, Xinhua news agency reported.

"In addition to the emergency response, the plan puts a strong focus on ensuring the social and economic inclusion of refugees and migrants," he said.

A joint release from the two UN agencies said the plan is a coordination and a fundraising tool established and implemented by 137 organisations working across the region, aiming to reach almost 4 million people, including Venezuelan refugees and migrants and host communities, in 17 countries.

As of early this month, there were approximately 4.6 million refugees and migrants from Venezuela around the world. Nearly 80 percent of them are in Latin American and the Caribbean countries. The number is expected to swell to 6.5 million by the end of 2020 if the current trend continues, said Dujarric.