GENEVA / BRAZIL VENEZUELA BORDER

07-Aug-2018 00:01:00
The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) today welcomed a decision by the Brazilian Supreme Federal Court to reverse the closure of the country’s border with its northern neighbor which suspends admission of Venezuelans to the country. UNTV CH
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STORY: GENEVA / BRAZIL VENEZUELA BORDER
TRT: 1:00
SOURCE: UNTV CH
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 7 AUGUST 2018 GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
SHOTLIST
1. Wide shot, exterior shot, Palais des Nations
2. Wide shot, United Nations press room
3. SOUNDBITE (English) William Spindler, Spokesperson, UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR):
“UNHCR welcomes last night’s decision of the Brazilian Supreme (Federal) Court to overturn a decision by a Federal judge in Roraima border state to suspend admission of Venezuelans to the country and close the border.”
4. Med shot, podium with speakers
5. SOUNDBITE (English) William Spindler, Spokesperson, UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR):
“The total number of Venezuelan asylum-seekers this year, this is asylum claims everywhere, is 117,000.”
6. Med shot, journalist
7. SOUNDBITE (English) William Spindler, Spokesperson, UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR):
“There were some tensions between the local people and Venezuelans. We understand that there has been a large influx in Roraima and that’s why we are helping the authorities to cope with the situation.”
8. Med shot, journalist
9. Med shot, journalist
STORYLINE
The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) today welcomed a decision by the Brazilian Supreme Federal Court to reverse the closure of the country’s border with its northern neighbor which suspends admission of Venezuelans to the country.

Speaking to reporters in Geneva today (07 Aug) UNHCR’s spokesperson William Spindler noted that hundreds of Venezuelans cross every day into Brazil’s northern Roraima state near the city of Pacaraima in search of safety. His comments coming amid reports of widespread food and medicine shortages, skyrocketing inflation, political unrest and violence.

More than 200 Venezuelans were unable to finalize their immigration registration during the brief closure on Monday, but they were not deported and no pushbacks took place, according to the UN agency.

Today, Brazil is home to more than 32,700 Venezuelan asylum-seekers, another 25,000 are legally permitted to stay in the country, as they have work or residency permits, or similar.

Spindler said “the total number of Venezuelan asylum-seekers this year, this is asylum claims everywhere, is 117,000.”

The way for Brazil-bound refugees was blocked temporarily on Monday (06 Aug) when the border was closed in line with a decision by a federal judge in Roraima. Hours later it was overturned by Brazil’s higher federal court.

Noting “tensions” at the frontier between Roraima residents and the newcomers, the UNHCR spokesperson said that the agency would continue to support efforts to meet the needs of those arriving in Brazil.

Until now, the authorities have traditionally welcomed anyone in need of protection and provided them access to basic rights and services.

Spindler said “there were some tensions between the local people and Venezuelans,” adding that “we understand that there has been a large influx in Roraima and that’s why we are helping the authorities to cope with the situation.”

To date, UNHCR has helped more than 800 Venezuelans relocate to other areas in Brazil in order to alleviate the strain on Roraima, which has seen the greatest influx of people seeking shelter.

The UN agency says that most of those abandoning Venezuela need urgent assistance with documentation, shelter, food and health care, which the agency seeks to provide by working with the authorities and partner organizations.

Among those helped by UNHCR are a growing number of indigenous people left vulnerable by food shortages.
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