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With up to three million Venezuelans seeking refuge outside of the country since 2014, migration from Venezuela has been called a “threat to the peace of all of South America.” The current political turmoil in the country is only likely to exacerbate an already precarious situation, which for some of Venezuela’s neighbors has already reached a breaking point.
In this The World Today, Michel Gabaudan—former president of Refugees International and an adviser to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees on the Venezuela crisis—will discuss the impact of emigration from Venezuela on receiving countries in South America. He will consider whether the situation is best addressed through a regional response or merits an international approach, and provide his expectations for how long the crisis will go on.
Michel Gabaudan is the former President of Refugees International, an independent advocacy organization based in Washington, DC. Refugees International advocates on behalf of forcibly displaced populations in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and Latin America. Prior to his appointment to lead Refugees International, his career with the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) spanned twenty-seven years. During this time, he acted as the Charge de Mission in Guatemala; the Regional Representative for Mexico, Cuba and Central America; the Head of Donor Relations and Resource Mobilization Service; Regional Representative for the Pacific; Regional Representative for China and Mongolia; and the Regional Representative for the United States of America and the Caribbean. He has most recently served as Advisor to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Ecuador, supporting the government’s efforts in responding to the mass outflow of Venezuelans in the region. He graduated with an M.D. from the University of Bordeaux in 1975 and received his Master of Public Health from the University of London in 1999.