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Thank you for organising this event.
Most importantly, thank you not only to the authorities but also the people and the governments of Colombia, Ecuador and Peru, and all other host countries, for welcoming so many Venezuelans who have fled their country.
This is becoming one of the largest humanitarian crises of our times. And you have shown to your Venezuelan brothers and sisters that they could count on you, in the moment of need. We have the responsibility of showing to you that you are not alone in this and that the international community is also at your side.
It is important that Latin American countries coordinate their response on a continental scale, under the Quito process.
But the rest of the world must also contribute, and support Venezuelans together with their host countries and communities.
We do not want to just help you, but we want to do our part and support others to do their part in supporting this important work.
The European Union has mobilised nearly €150 million to date, both inside and outside Venezuela. Around 40% of funding targets the regional consequences of the crisis.
Only ten days ago I was in Colombia where I had excellent discussions with President Duque when we announced a new European investment of 30 million to support Colombia’s solidarity towards Venezuelans.
I agree with the High Commissioner Filippo Grandi that this is "one of the most under-funded humanitarian appeals in the world”. That is why the European Union is co-organising together with the UNHCR and the IOM an International Solidarity Conference on the Venezuelan Refugee and Migrant crisis, which we will host on 28-29 October in Brussels together with Commissioner Stylianides.
This will be the last event that we will host in Brussels before the end of the mandate. This is a testimony of the importance that we give politically and from a humanitarian point of view to the crisis in Venezuela. Perhaps this is not the closest crisis geographically, but it is a crisis that affects people who are close to our own and that is why we care so much about it.
Through the Conference we want to raise awareness about the gravity of this crisis, we want to confirm international support for a regional and coordinated response, and we want to call for greater international cooperation in both technical and financial terms.
I would add also on political efforts, but this is another chapter of solving the crisis.
We want to help as much as we can at humanitarian and political level in this moment that is extremely delicate for Venezuelan people and for all of Latin American countries, especially the neighbouring ones. Count with the European Union to be at your side.