Venezuela: EU reaffirms support to refugees and migrants at International Donors’ Conference
Today, at the International Donors’ Conference in Solidarity with Venezuelan Refugees and Migrants the European Commission pledged €147 million, in addition to pledges by EU Member States, for immediate humanitarian assistance, medium and longer-term development assistance and conflict prevention interventions for Venezuelan refugees, migrants and host communities. This comes in addition to the ongoing aid package of €319 million allocated by the EU to alleviate the crisis since 2018.
EU aid for Venezuelan refugees and migrants
Today’s funding from the European Union will focus on:
Humanitarian assistance of €82 million for immediate relief activities to vulnerable Venezuelans affected by the crisis, wherever they are. Assistance will be provided to Venezuelan migrants and refugees, as well as to host communities in host countries. This includes shelter, medical assistance (including COVID-19-related primary response), food and non-food items, access to education and protection. Particular attention will be given to vulnerable groups, such as unaccompanied minors.
Development cooperation of €50 million focusing in particular on social and economic integration of Venezuelan refugees, migrants and host communities in countries most affected by the Venezuelan crisis. Our support will target access to health and employment opportunities, to foster the skills, knowledge, innovation and social integration of Venezuelan refugees, migrants and host communities. It will also continue to support Venezuelans that have remained in their country to defend democratic values, human rights, human dignity and build resilience through civil society and international organisations on the ground.
Assistance through the Foreign Policy Instrument of €15 million, focusing on strengthening registration and integration policies and processes for Venezuelan migrants and refugees and addressing the needs of host communities. This support will focus on socio-economic integration in host communities, preventing and addressing xenophobia and discrimination. Particular focus will be given to the needs of vulnerable groups, such as unaccompanied children, single-headed households, women and girls at risk of gender-based violence and trafficking, the elderly, people with chronic illnesses and LGBTQI+ people.
Members of the College said
High Representative/Vice President Josep Borrell said: “With more than 5.6 million affected people, the Venezuelan exodus is a serious ongoing crisis that has been largely unnoticed. The pandemic has worsened the plight of Venezuelan migrants and refugees, increasing the risks they face in their search for a safe haven. The need to vaccinate displaced Venezuelans and to provide support to the communities that have generously welcomed them makes it even more urgent to continue with this commitment. The European Union is ready to play its part.”
Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič said: “The coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated the already critical situation in the region. The EU’s humanitarian support will continue to provide urgently-needed assistance to the most vulnerable Venezuelans who have been forced to leave their homes to flee from starvation, poverty and persecution. I commend the efforts of hosting countries as well as of our humanitarian partners, who are delivering essential aid, including basic healthcare and psychosocial support for those who left their country. Ultimately, however, a political solution is needed to overcome the ongoing humanitarian crisis.”
Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen, said: “This crisis continues creating immediate needs and has exacerbated inequalities. We commend the Governments of neighbouring countries for their generosity, solidarity and genuine efforts to welcome Venezuelan refugees and migrants. This is why the EU and its Member States will also support social and economic integration in countries most affected by the Venezuelan crisis.”