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On 12 December, High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini met with Mr Eduardo Stein, the Joint Special Envoy for Venezuelan refugees and migrants in the region, who was appointed by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) last September in Brussels. They discussed ways to support national governments efforts to deal with the protection and needs of an increasing number of Venezuelan refugees and migrants and the need to ensure a coordinated international and regional response to the Venezuelan migrant crisis.
Federica Mogherini expressed the European Union’s full support to Mr Stein's mandate, and reiterated the EU’s reinforced engagement in support of national, regional and multilateral efforts, aimed at mitigating the effects of the refugee and migrant crisis, as well as the most urgent needs of the population inside the country. She also highlighted the EU’s close co-operation with IOM and UNHCR in this regard.
The EU has allocated more than € 55 million in emergency relief and development assistance for people in the country and the region, including a recent additional emergency package of € 20 million.
The High Representative/Vice-President also recalled that the root causes that make so many Venezuelans decide to flee their country need to be addressed. The search for a peaceful political solution to the Venezuelan crisis therefore remains at the centre of EU action.
During their meeting, the High Representative updated the Joint Special Envoy on the discussion at the Foreign Affairs Council on 10 December. Here, EU Foreign Ministers discussed the increased humanitarian support and the possible establishment of an International Contact Group on Venezuela, with the aim to help create the conditions for resuming a political process at a later stage.