“We Can’t Keep Up”: Doctors Without Borders Warns Of The Increase In Migrants In The Darién

The migratory situation in the Darién Gap, between Colombia and Panama, alerts Doctors Without Borders, an organization that says it cannot cope .

Migrants in the Cañas Blancas sector in Darién

Photo: EFE/Carlos Lemos


Listen to this article

Leer en español: “No damos abasto”: Médicos Sin Fronteras alerta por el aumento de migrantes en el Darién

Doctors Without Borders (DWB) warned this Friday that aid to address the situation in the dangerous Darién jungle, which separates Colombia and Panama, is insufficient given the increase in the passage of migrants, since the Panamanian populations receive between 2,000 and 3,000 people.

The numbers of those who cross the Darién

"Humanitarian organizations cannot cope with the increase in people who arrive daily. In recent weeks we have had days of up to 3,000 migrants in a single point ," said the DWB field coordinator in the Panamanian Darién, Jose Lobo, in a statement.

In total, more than 50,000 people have crossed the Darién Gap so far this month , and this year the number of previous years has already been exceeded, since more than 260,000 migrants, mainly Venezuelans, have embarked on this route towards to North America.

"There are more than 2,000 people who are forced to face risks such as injuries and drowning due to geographical conditions, robberies, assaults and sexual violence on behalf of criminal gangs on a daily basis. Then, upon arrival in Panama, they do not find the care they need ", denounced DWB.

Crossing the border: just the beginning

The humanitarian medical organization cares for migrants upon their arrival in the towns of Panama, on the other side of the jungle, where the vast majority arrive with some type of condition, be it skin wounds and muscle aches from the exhausting journey, diarrhea and diseases from drinking water from rivers or mental health problems from violence on the road.

In addition, once in the Temporary Migratory Reception Stations (ETRM), there is "overcrowding" due to the high number of people who are crossing. "The increase has been so great that both the host communities and the capacity of the organizations in the ETRMs, especially that of Lajas Blancas, have been overwhelmed," explained Lobo.

In the first seven months of 2023, DWB has provided almost 36,000 medical consultations and has treated 673 pregnant women and more than 200 survivors of sexual violence. The organizations that serve the assistance points are overwhelmed, warns DWB, for which they call on both donors and the humanitarian community to "multiply their efforts" and on the governments of Panama and Colombia to "develop effective actions to guarantee a safe route for the migrant population and guarantee their access to basic services".

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button