One in seven Venezuelans have left their homeland to neighbouring countries in Latin America and the Caribbean having a growing impact on healthcare systems, public services, labour markets, community relations and infrastructure. The U.S. Agency for International Development and Inter-American Development Bank announced approximately $1.8 million for awards in the BetterTogether Challenge, an initiative to crowdsource, fund and scale up solutions in Brazil, Colombia, Perú and Trinidad and Tobago and Venezuela on 11 August.
In 2017, 80% of the Venezuelan population did not have a reliable source of food and the challenge aims to elevate Venezuelan voices and ingenuity, expand networks and fund, test and scale market-ready solutions to answer the needs of the regional crisis. The awards will fund solutions to increase access to jobs, education and financial services, combat exploitation and xenophobia for Venezuelans and their host communities.
In Colombia, Brazil and Perú, Migraflix, a social start-up, will scale up a model to provide Venezuelan refugees and host communities with training on entrepreneurial and technical skills to create culinary businesses online and provide access to microcredit, financial mentorships and connections with local markets. In Perú, Nanas y Amas, an employment agency, will use an online platform to connect vulnerable Venezuelan women with vetted employment opportunities with fair pay.
In Trinidad and Tobago, Democracy International, an advisor and assistance giver in democracy and governance projects, will launch a behavior-change programme to reduce harassment and xenophobia Venezuelan women face in everyday settings. In Venezuela, a local organisation will scale a hybrid online and in-person platform to support high-potential youth entrepreneurs from vulnerable backgrounds and an additional awardee will provide high-speed internet access to urban communities enabling new users to access information for education and financial services. VIDEO: JuntosEsMejorVE