Joint Coordination Mechanism at the CEBAF (Binational Border Attention Centre)
The project in brief
The project started in May 2018. The joint coordination between humanitarian actors and institutions will continue at CEBAF as long as the flow of refugees and migrants coming from Venezuela continue at the Peruvian Northern Border.
The coordination mechanism in place at the CEBAF, at the Peruvian Northern Border, shows the effective collaboration between humanitarian actors and state institutions, which was essential to provide a comprehensive humanitarian response in case of massive influx of Venezuelans refugees and migrants.
International cooperation advocated for pertinent State institutions’ presence and eased their interventions. In this sense this good practice meets one of the GCR objectives of easing pressure on host countries and has the potential to be replicated by other countries. Peru currently host more than 865,000 Venezuelans and over 280,000 are asylum seekers, the majority of whom processed their asylum requests at CEPR in the CEBAF.
Creation of a Coordination Mechanism between government institutions and humanitarian actors in order to strengthen the allocation and distribution of Government and humanitarian actors’ financial, material, human resources and respond to massive influx at the border.
Financial, material, technical, human resources were used by humanitarian actors and institutions. Moreover, advocacy was carried out by humanitarian actors in order to grant access to the territory of Venezuelans refugees and migrants.
Main activities of the Good Practice
This coordination mechanism supported the State in its effort of granting access to the territory. The Special Unit for Minors and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs opened decentralized offices at CEBAF in order to closely work with Migrations and to ease access to the Peruvian asylum and to children special protection systems.
The Regional Coordination Platform for Refugees and Migrants (RMRP) co-leaded by UNHCR and IOM at regional and local level, was created to provide a regional response to Venezuelans refugees and migrants, and contributes to join efforts and promote coordination between actors involved. In order to grant an effective coordination, a local Working Group on Refugees and Migrants (GTRM) was created at the CEBAF. Meetings were periodically carried out, especially during the outbreaks of massive influx which occurred on 15th of August 2018, on 31st of October 2018 and on 14th June 2019, when Peruvian administrative measures entered into effect. Likewise, administrative measures of neighbouring countries constantly changed, affecting the outflow of Venezuelans refugees and migrants at CEBAF.
A Contingency Plan was elaborated in 2018 to allocate Government and humanitarian actors’ financial and material resources in order to respond to the massive influx. A hand to hand work between local institutions and humanitarian actors led to a timely and efficient response, scaling up order and security at CEBAF, connectivity, logistics, together with humanitarian services, aiming at sharing responsibility between State institutions. Support was provided to local institutions, through staff funding of Ministry of Foreign Affairs Special Commission for Refugees (CEPR), Directorate of Health (DIRESA), Ministry of Women and Vulnerable Groups, Ombudsman’s Office and the Regional Government. Technical support was provided in order to lead coordination (emergency preparedness), as well as capacity development (training to local institutions and humanitarian actors’ teams).
Quality data collection was jointly collected on a monthly and weekly basis and during the emergency on a daily basis. This led to a better understanding of the scale of Venezuelans refugees and migrant’s protection needs. Disaggregated age, gender, and diversity data provided insights about persons with specific needs.
- Local Institutions: CEPR (Special Commission for Refugees), DIRESA (Regional Directorate of Health), INDECI (Civil Defence), Immigration, Ministry of Development and Social Inclusion, Ministry of Women and Vulnerable Groups, Municipality of Aguas Verdes, Municipality of Zarumilla, Ombudsperson’s Office, Police, SUNAT (Superintendence of Customs), Regional Government, UPE (Special Unit for Minors)
- Local Organizations: CRP (Peruvian Red Cross), Encuentros
- UN Agencies: IOM, UNICEF, UNFPA, UNHCR, WHO
- International Organizations: ADRA, COOPI, ICRC (International Committee of Red Cross), PADF, PLAN International, IFRC (International Federation of Red Cross), RET, Save the Children.
Challenges and how they were overcome
- During the massive influx emergencies occurred at the CEBAF achieving an effective and immediate coordination among many actors was difficult and implied efforts, commitment, and a complete availability to listen to counterparts, while having in mind the best solutions for persons of concern.
- Likewise, it was hard to create and manage effective reporting tools in order to ensure a fluid communication of information between the field and the central level.
How they were overcome
- Support from central level was provided in order to grant en efficient and effective exchange of information and persons of concern’s needs, in order to ensure a comprehensive humanitarian response using all the available resources.
- Sustainability of the comprehensive humanitarian response provided by the humanitarian actors was granted by the presence of pertinent institutions and their capacity development throughout the beginning of Venezuelans arrival at the CEBAF.
Results of the Good Practice
- A coordination mechanism between local government institutions and humanitarian actors made possible a comprehensive humanitarian response to the massive influx of Venezuelans refugees and migrants arriving at the CEBAF; through the installation of humanitarian services there. Medical attention, legal orientation, connectivity, child friendly spaces, food distribution, shelter, transport, psycho-social support were provided to the Venezuelan citizens entering Peru.
- The presence of pertinent State institutions and humanitarian actors was enhanced and facilitated their access to the territory. Basic rights of vulnerable groups such as minors, women, elderly persons, were ensured. Protection referral pathways were created to refer cases to State services.
How the project meets the GCR Objectives
Such a joint coordination mechanism may be adapted, replicated in scale in other border points, where working together is essential to grant access to the territory, to provide humanitarian services to persons with protection needs, while enhancing the Government’s response capacity to respond to a massive influx of refugees and migrants.
Replicate in Peru the same coordination mechanism put in place at the CEBAF to other contexts, such as urban settings and host communities. A switch from emergency response to community-based protection is currently in progress in Peru Operation.
Moreover, this coordination mechanism can be replicated in other border points along the regional path, from Colombia to Chile and Argentina.
Margarita Vargas Angulo, Deputy Representative, UNHCR Peru