When leaving is the last resort: María’s story on migrating from Venezuela to Brazil

Venezuelan migrants and refugees in northern Brazil

Since the partial reopening of Brazil's border with Venezuela in July, an increasing number of migrants and asylum seekers have crossed to the Brazilian side in Roraima state. Most now live on the streets and have very basic access to assistance and services, including health care. Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is responding by running mobile clinics in the cities of Pacaraima and Boa Vista in Roraima state.

Most patients have symptoms of acute stress, depression, and anxiety linked to displacement, family separation, walking long distances, and violence. “I am a mother of seven and I came here looking for a better life for them,” said María. “I haven’t been able to do that because I can’t get work here in Pacaraima.” Every day, MSF teams witness families, women, children, and men arriving in Brazil seeking safety and searching for a better life. There must be more support for health and infrastructure, such as shelter and basic services, for migrants and asylum seekers.