Officials announced on Monday, May 7, that 200,000 Venezuelans fleeing their country have registered with the Colombian authorities since starting a three month census on April 8. The Colombian government believes there are an additional 500,000 Venezuelans who are undocumented in the country that they hope to register by June 8, when the ongoing census will end. At least 80 percent of those officially registered indicated on their paperwork they would like to remain in Colombia, while the remaining 20 percent would like to return to Venezuela should conditions improve.
According to humanitarian officials, hundreds of thousands of Venezuelan refugees have fled the country since the beginning of the year, with a large percentage taking refuge in Colombia and Brazil. The migrant crisis is expected to worsen throughout 2018 as Venezuela's economy continues to falter. The IMF has estimated that in 2018 the Venezuelan economy will shrink by 15 percent and inflation in the country will reach 13,000 percent. Venezuelans face shortages of gasoline, food, medicine, and other basic necessities, as well as extreme rates of violent crime, social unrest, and an ongoing political crisis.
Individuals in Colombia are advised to monitor developments to the situation and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities.