British actor Liam Neeson, UNICEF ambassador, called on the international community for more support for Venezuelan children and adolescents who fled their country on a visit to Brazil's border with Venezuela, which ended yesterday.
“They are exhausted, vulnerable and still shocked to have left everything behind. As a parent, I am heartbroken to hear your stories, ”said Neeson, in statements issued by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF).
"But I also saw hope in the eyes of refugee children who took every opportunity to learn in a safe environment, grow healthy and eventually rebuild their lives in Brazil," he added.
Liam Neeson traveled to the Brazilian city of Pacaraima, on the Venezuelan border, which is the main gateway to Brazil used by Venezuelans fleeing their country's social, economic and political crisis.
The actor contacted Venezuelan families recently arrived in Brazil and visited places where they receive medical assistance and start immigration procedures for their later integration into the country, where they are assisted by Operation Welcomed.
This operation, which has the support of several international organizations, including UNICEF and the Brazilian Army, is an initiative launched two years ago by former President Michel Temer (2016-2018), which was maintained by the Government of Jair Bolsonaro.
Liam Neeson also visited Boa Vista, capital of the state of Roraima, about 220 kilometers from Pacaraima, where the largest humanitarian shelters host over 1,000 people, half of whom are children, according to UNICEF.
The actor participated in recreational and educational activities with young Venezuelans aimed at facilitating their integration into Brazilian schools.
“During my visit to Brazil, I saw the power of the union of Venezuelan and Brazilian teenagers. It reminded me of my experience during the Northern Ireland conflict, when I saw Catholic and Protestant children being friends, breaking the barrier of fear, ”said the actor.
UNICEF reported that as of December 2019, only 41% of the $ 69.5 million (62.5 million euros) needed for the attention of young Venezuelan migrants was gathered throughout the past year.
For this year, the organization plans to raise $ 64 million (€ 57.5 million) to help about 63,000 children affected by Venezuelan migration, including those in transit and those already received in six Latin American countries. , including Brazil.
Data released by the UN indicate that four million Venezuelans have left their country to other parts of the world since late 2015, in one of the largest migratory flows on the planet.
. (tagsToTranslate) planet