"Welcomed through work"

Promoting Integration through Employment of Venezuelan Refugees and Migrants and Other Vulnerable Persons in Brazil




AVSI Foundation with AVSI Brasil and the Institute of Migration and Human Rights (Instituto Migração e Direitos Humanos – IMDH) implements the project “Promoting Integration through Employment of Venezuelan Refugees and Migrants and Other Vulnerable Persons” (2019-2021) with funding from the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM) for the response to the Venezuela Crisis. 


Venezuela is facing an intense political and economic situation that has been recognized by the international community as a humanitarian crisis. Since 2016, Brazil has been a destination for many Venezuelan nationals. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), 115,242 (as of October 2019) Venezuelans sought refuge in the country and 97,199 (as of August 2019) obtained a temporary residence permit or a permanent visa. Along Brazil’s border with Venezuela, the town of Pacaraima, in the state of Roraima, is the main point of entry with average of 598 people arriving daily. Most continue to the state capital, Boa Vista.  

Relocation is important for the sustainable integration of refugees into the social and economic life of the country, but also to alleviate the overcrowding in the reception shelters near the border. Socio-economic integration implies multi-stakeholder partnership involving local public actors (government and municipality), civil society and the private sector, to create employment opportunities for refugees and migrants with necessary social support.

The focus now must be on integration and long- term solutions. While supportive policies are in place, effective partners and sufficient resources are needed to make these policies operational.


AVSI is working to guarantee the rights of Venezuelan refugees and migrants living in Brazil in support of the Brazilian Government and UNHCR’s joint humanitarian emergency program “Operação Acolhida” (“Operation Welcome”). 

To achieve this goal, AVSI will:

  • Contribute to improving access to formal work for Venezuelan refugees and migrants in Brazil and for the most vulnerable Brazilian population.
  • Facilitate the socio-economic integration of Venezuelan refugees and migrants arriving in Boa Vista and Pacaraima, by means of voluntary relocation (“interiorization”) to other Brazilian states.


AVSI will reach both refugees  (82%) and the local community (18%):

  • Direct total: 9,600, including 2,000 relocated through work
  • Indirect: 35,000

How it works