High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell held phone calls with António Vitorino, Director General of the International Organisation for Migration, on 14 April, and with Filippo Grandi, United Nations’ High Commissioner for Refugees, and Peter Maurer, President of the International Committee of the Red Cross, on 15 April 2020.
They discussed the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and, in particular, its effect on vulnerable groups, including refugees, migrants, internally displaced persons and host communities. They also addressed situations where restrictions imposed due to the spread of the pandemic are impeding humanitarian access.
The European Union will continue to support the International Committee of the Red Cross, the International Organisation for Migration and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in their work, providing assistance on the ground. They discussed in particular the situation in Syria, Libya, Yemen, Venezuela and Africa. The High Representative/Vice-President stressed that it was essential to minimise the human impact of the pandemic, to respect International Humanitarian Law and foster more international support for refugee populations, those displaced within their countries or in the neighbouring regions and their host communities.
High Representative/Vice-President Borrell welcomed the UN Secretary General's efforts to co-ordinate a UN-wide response and the launch of a single UN Global Humanitarian Response Plan. Global cooperation is the only way ahead to address the impact of the pandemic worldwide.
The calls with the heads of International Committee of the Red Cross, the International Organisation for Migration and UN High Commissioner for Refugees were also an opportunity for the High Representative/Vice-President to debrief them on the European Union’s global response to the coronavirus pandemic, under which the European Union is mobilising more than €20 billion to address the humanitarian, health, social and economic consequences of the crisis.