HIAS in Aruba
Staff size: 14
Country Director: Yiftach Millo
Office Location: Oranjestad
Since 2014, Aruba has become a destination for Venezuelans refugees and migrants. With a population of just over 110,000, Aruba hosts an estimated 17,000 Venezuelans. In 2019, Aruba’s government received more than 2,000 requests for asylum, yet most were rejected, leaving the majority of Venezuelans on the island without protection, access to basic health services, or legal employment. HIAS Aruba helps many vulnerable groups, including single women, women-headed households, survivors of gender-based violence (GBV), survivors of torture, older people, people with disabilities and serious medical conditions, and LGBTQ refugees. HIAS Aruba's programs help refugees and asylum seekers to integrate into the local community.
COVID-19 has destabilized the lives of refugees and migrants and host communities across Latin America and the Caribbean, cutting off access to income and increasing vulnerability. To respond to their heightened needs, HIAS Aruba has modified its services, implementing remote support and developing other innovative solutions.
HIAS PROGRAMS AND FOCUS
In Aruba, HIAS assesses and responds to the needs of vulnerable Venezuelans, helping to strengthen their ability to mitigate risks and live in dignity and safety. HIAS Aruba promotes local integration through the provision of services and access to rights, and supports improved access to education and health services provided by the Government of Aruba and the private sector.
GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE (GBV) RISK REDUCTION, PREVENTION, AND RESPONSE
Women, girls, and LGBTQ individuals are disproportionately affected by forced displacement. HIAS’ GBV services are driven by the needs and the voices of survivors, and our GBV programming helps forcibly displaced women, girls, and LGBTQ individuals access human rights to pursue their potential, free from violence and gender-related oppression. HIAS Aruba’s GBV prevention and response program provides case management; cash and voucher assistance (CVA); language and livelihoods courses; and mental health support groups.
COMMUNITY-BASED MENTAL HEALTH AND PSYCHOSOCIAL SUPPORT
HIAS’ mental health programs train key community members to recognize acute emotional distress in children and adults as a result of crisis, and how to respond with empathy and respect. HIAS Aruba offers community and peer support groups and provides clients with access to appropriate mental health and psychosocial care through referral mechanisms within communities. HIAS also provides capacity building to front-line providers (including community leaders, local non-profits and international organizations) on psychological first aid and other basic psychosocial competencies for individuals in distress.
Access to dignified, sustainable, and safe livelihoods are at the core of our economic inclusion interventions. Our programs give people the chance to enhance their self-reliance, increase resilience, regain dignity, and build independent and meaningful futures. HIAS Aruba’s socio-economic support program helps at-risk families focus on the best ways to integrate into communities. Through analysis and case management, HIAS disburses cash support, food vouchers, hygiene kits, medical packages, and “back-to-school” vouchers for children. HIAS Aruba also offers English and Papiamento language courses, support groups, academic and vocational courses to improve livelihoods, and works together with a network of volunteers on anti-xenophobia activities.
HIAS IN LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN (LAC)
HIAS advocates for the protection of refugees, other forcibly displaced populations, and local host communities throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. As part of a comprehensive regional response to meet the urgent needs of these populations, including the millions of displaced Venezuelans, HIAS participates in several regional coordination platforms and partnerships which focus on protection, food security, GBV, and Cash and Voucher Assistance, including:
REDLAC (IASC Regional Work Group Risk, Emergencies and Disasters)
UNHCR/IOM Regional Platform for the Venezuela Situation Response (R4V)
Interagency Group on Mixed Migration Flows (GIFMM) in Colombia
Working Group for Refugees and Migrants (GTRM) in Ecuador and Peru
HIAS currently has programs in nine countries in LAC (Aruba, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guyana, Mexico, Panama, Peru, and Venezuela) and partners with a wide range of government agencies, UN entities (UNHCR, WFP, UNICEF, UN Women, UNFPA, UNVFVT), the private sector (Airbnb, TATA Consultancy Services, and Manpower), and other NGOs and consortia, including Jesuit Refugee Service, Save the Children, Norwegian Refugee Council, Plan International, and Girls not Brides.
Find us on Facebook at @HIASAruba