IOM: 77% of Venezuelans in Trinidad and Tobago vaccinated in 2021

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Photo by Grevic Alvarado

The International Organization for Migration’s (IOM), Port of Spain office said in the 2021 Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) that 77 per cent of Venezuelans in Trinidad and Tobago were vaccinated against covid19.

The DTM is a global tool used in over 72 countries to track and monitor mobile populations, through analysing information gathered through sampling from populations of interest.

For TT this fourth annual instalment of the DTM report captured and processed critical information on the mobility, vulnerabilities, protection concerns and cross-sectoral needs of displaced Venezuelan migrants and refugees who live in TT.

A total of 1,376 Venezuelan migrants over 18 years participated in DTM 2021.

The data reflected that 77 per cent of the respondents were fully vaccinated against covid19, whilst seven per cent had received one shot and 16 per cent were unvaccinated.

Of the interviewees, 65 per cent had experienced difficulties since the start of the covid19 pandemic, with the major issue being worsened quality of diet, and 66 per cent had lost their jobs because of the pandemic.

But 57 per cent of the respondents received support, primarily from religious organisations and international organisations.

Head of office for IOM Port of Spain Jewel Ali, in a virtual address to government partners, said: “The continued challenges resulting from covid19 create both a delicate situation for countries experiencing migrant flows as well as another layer of vulnerability for migrants.”

She explained the DTM may help in understanding some factors which shape migrants’ decisions and mobility trends, which are equally important.

In the humanitarian context, the understanding of mobility in situations of crises is a major priority. The design of more effective humanitarian operations therefore relies on successfully adapting assistance to the evolving needs of migrants and refugees.

“This information can also then help governments mitigate and/or address the social, health and economic impacts the pandemic is having on the migrant and host communities,” she said

Ali further noted that the DTM will continue to be an invaluable tool for governments, NGOs, and UN agencies as they respond to the evolving needs of communities affected by the crises around the world.

“As IOM we encourage governments to use this and other information to integrate migrants into national emergency response plans and into social protection mechanisms,” she said.

The DTM also determined that 20.3 per cent of the respondents did domestic/cleaning work, followed by commerce at 19.9 per cent, construction at 16.7 per cent, and tourism/hospitality/entertainment at 15.9 per cent.

In addition, it was noted that more than half of the instances of unpaid work (57 per cent) reportedly occurred in the construction sector, with the agriculture sector having the second highest incidence at 9.5 per cent.

Fifty-three per cent of the interviewees worked in the informal sector, 27 per cent in the formal sector, and 37 per cent in the informal sector were underpaid.

The data also showed 51 per cent of the respondents felt discriminated against because of their nationality, which represented an eight-percentage point reduction from 2019.

The 2021 DTM exercise in TT began in August 2021, funded by the US Department of State Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM) and wasmanaged by the IOM.

Additionally, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) contributed financial and technical support to the initiative and has strategically collaborated with the IOM over the years.