5.1 million people have left Venezuela due to political instability, insecurity and economic collapse. This is the largest refugee crisis in Latin American history and has become one of the biggest displacement crises in the world. The European Union stands with the people of Venezuela and is at the forefront of international efforts to solve the crisis in the country and support a political, democratic, peaceful and Venezuelan-owned solution.
At the end of my visit to Ethiopia and Sudan – which was my first travel in my new function as EU High Representative to Africa – I travelled last weekend to North Darfur. I met with local authorities and visited camp Zamzam, which for more than a decade hosts Internally Displaced People (IDP). The visit to the camp was an intensive experience, both encouraging and sad, and nice and disturbing at the same time.
High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell announced on Friday, 6 March 2020, that the EU would convene a fourth Brussels Conference on “Supporting the Future of Syria and the Region” on 29 and 30 June 2020.
Today we met with the Ministers for an extraordinary Foreign Affairs Council that finished sooner than expected. I would like to start by expressing my appreciation to the Croatian Presidency for its swift response in organising on the spot this extraordinary meeting of the Council. The urgency was understood by all and the Croatian presidency provided the logistic means.
We expressed our solidarity with our Member States who are facing a very difficult situation in their borders: Greece, of course, but also Cyprus and Bulgaria.
I had an intense visit and a lot of talks with the Turkish authorities yesterday and today.
Together with my colleague, Commissioner [for Crisis Management] Janez Lenarčič we came to discuss the situation in Syria, the catastrophic humanitarian situation in Idlib and the serious consequences that all that has for Turkey and for the European Union.
High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell and Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarčič concluded their two-day visit to Ankara on Wednesday, where they discussed with Turkish partners the situation in North-West Syria and refugee flows to and from Turkey.
Today the Commission has adopted its initial annual humanitarian budget for 2020 worth €900 million. The EU is the leading global humanitarian aid donor and helps people in over 80 countries. From protracted conflicts in Africa and the Middle East, to severe food crises, humanitarian crises are intensifying and putting aid delivery to those most in need at risk.