Today, the international community is gathering for the second day of the 2023 'International Conference in Solidarity with Venezuelan Refugees and Migrants and their Host Countries and Communities', co-organised by the EU and Canada. The purpose is to reaffirm its support for Venezuelans in need affected by the country’s protracted crisis.
For the occasion, the European Commission is releasing over €75 million in humanitarian aid, reaffirming its continued support to Venezuelans and to respond to their most urgent needs.
The funding will help people in need in Venezuela and communities in the neighbouring countries hosting migrants and refugees, with a focus on (i) food assistance, (ii) health, (ii) shelter, (iv) protection, (v) education, and (vi) legal assistance, among other areas.
Canada also contributed with a pledge of CAD 58.55 million to respond to humanitarian needs as well as supporting the long-term integration of refugees and migrants into host communities.
The Conference is organised in close collaboration with the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), co-leads of the Regional Inter-Agency Coordination Platform for Refugees and Migrants from Venezuela (R4V), as well as key host countries and partners.
The event brings together representatives from neighbouring countries hosting Venezuelan migrants and refugees, EU Member States and other donor countries, international and local organisations and the private sector. It aims to address the humanitarian situation in Venezuela and the region and renew the support for 2023 and beyond, while providing a unique platform for dialogue with civil society.
Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič, said: "The EU has been assisting Venezuelans in need since 2016. We cannot and will not forget their suffering nor the impact that the migration crisis has on neighbouring countries and refugee hosting communities. The humanitarian situation deriving from the Venezuelan crisis is only getting worse, with almost 20 million people in need of life-saving assistance. Despite the challenges and the rise of other urgencies worldwide, including war in Europe, the EU will continue delivering humanitarian assistance to the most vulnerable Venezuelans. Today we are announcing further €75 million of humanitarian funding, underlining our steady commitment since the beginning of the crisis, reaching almost €400 million in total."
Minister of International Development of Canada, Harjit S. Sajjan, said: “We stand in solidarity with Venezuelan refugees and migrants and the communities and countries that have welcomed them. We must continue to work together to provide support, protection, and opportunities for this population. Let us remember that this is a regional crisis that requires acollective response. We must continue to work towards a sustainable and durable solution for all those affected.”
Since 2016, the EU has allocated almost €400 million in emergency humanitarian aid for Venezuela crisis. The funding helped assisting Venezuelans in need inside the country as well as those hosted in neighbouring countries.
EU humanitarian assistance is delivered through UN agencies, international non-governmental organisations (NGOs), and the Red Cross movement who implements projects covering the broad spectrum of humanitarian needs.
The 2023 Solidarity Conference's goal is to reassert the international community's continued support for the Venezuelan people affected by the ongoing socio-economic crisis and the subsequent migration influx in the region. The Conference also aims to keep the Venezuelan crisis high on the international agenda and to help mobilise much-needed financial support to meet the needs of Venezuelan migrants and refugees and their host communities in neighbouring countries through voluntary pledges.
On 9 March, the EU and the Government of Canada together with the Coalition of Civil Society Organizations for the Defence of the Human Rights of Refugees, Migrants and Displaced Persons in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC RMD) co-hosted a high-level dialogue which highlighted the relevant role played by civil society organisations to provide humanitarian aid within Venezuela, and in the countries of transit and reception of refugees and migrants from Venezuela.
On 15 March, the Regional Inter-Agency Coordination Platform for Refugees and Migrants from Venezuela organised Sector Roundtable Sessions to contribute to raising awareness and visibility on the achievements and good practices of the response, as well as continued gaps, needs and challenges.
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