Aruba and the EU

International Community United in Solidarity with Venezuelan Migrants and Refugees

26/05/2020 - 21:10
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On 26 May, the international community gathered again to show solidarity with millions of Venezuelan refugees and migrants who have had to flee their country in order to find refuge abroad, especially in the neighbouring countries including Colombia, Peru and Ecuador. The Covid-19 pandemic has only aggravated their already dire situation, and their access to health services, water and sanitation, education, housing and a decent social and economic life. The aim of this second International Conference has been to shine the spotlight on the increasing needs of all these Venezuelans who seek protection, and for whom the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic presents an additional challenge of unpredictable magnitude. Our mission only starts now.

Venezuela conference

 

During this virtual conference hosted by the EU and Spain, co-hosted by the UNHCR and IOM, and co-convened by Canada and Norway, more than 60 participants called for an increased response to support Venezuelan migrants and refugees and their host communities. Therefore, the main focus of the Conference was on pledges to face this unprecedented and under-founded humanitarian crisis and on the call for greater international technical and financial cooperation. More than €2.5 billion have been pledged. The funds will go to partner organisations for implementing immediate relief activities in the region, including at border zones, taking into account the most pressing needs of local host communities, refugees, internally displaced people and other vulnerable groups.

EU High Representative Borrell announced “I do not want us to lose sight of the magnitude of this crisis: it is estimated that more than 5 million Venezuelans have abandoned their land. 80% have stayed in Latin American countries, which have shown admirable solidarity. The international community has to do everything possible to support them. I am pleased to announce that the European Union will contribute to this Conference by providing € 144.2 million in new funds for humanitarian aid, development cooperation and conflict prevention. In addition, the European Investment Bank will make €400 million euros in loans available to migrant-receiving countries.”