Our economic inclusion programs ensure that refugees have economic opportunities to earn sustainable income and start their lives anew.Promote Economic Inclusion
Panama is at the center of a significant displacement crisis as one of the main transit points through the Darién jungle crossing. In 2023, at least 500,000 people crossed the dangerous Darién Gap on the border with Colombia, doubling the historic milestone reached in 2022. The country is a critical transit point for people from the Caribbean, Africa, Asia, and South America, heading north in pursuit of protection.
Panama also hosts more than 121,600 Venezuelans who have received residence permits, while nearly 2,600 asylum claims from Venezuelans are pending. Additionally, Panama is home to thousands of Central American refugees and migrants.
people reached directly through services in 2021
HIAS Panama helps refugees, asylum seekers, and migrants access dignified and sustainable livelihoods, improving their self-reliance. We collaborate with local communities and NGOs to foster the integration of refugees, creating safe spaces where refugees and members of the host community collaborate on community projects and address shared challenges. HIAS Panama is able to provide assistance to refugees and migrants with the support of UNHCR, UNFPA, ECHO, AECID, and the Hilton Foundation.
We work to protect the right of women, girls, and LGBTQ communities to access their full potential and live free from violence by supporting survivors, mitigating risks, and transforming beliefs that perpetuate GBV.End Gender-Based Violence
HIAS’ community-based mental health programs promote the well-being of individuals, families, and communities affected by crisis and conflict so they can heal and rebuild their lives.Provide Legal Support
In the Darien Gap, Our Staff Make a Difference
Benilda Murillo, 51, has worked for HIAS since June 2021. She spends three nights a week in the indigenous community of Canaán Membrillo, where she responds to the basic needs of the thousands of people who arrive every day by foot, across one of the most dangerous borders in the world: the Darién Gap, the jungle that separates Colombia from Panama.Read more