UNHCR – UNHCR, IOM and humanitarian partners call for urgent support for Venezuelan refugees and migrants and their hosts

More than 5.6 million Venezuelans have left their country, most of them for countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. © UNHCR / Ilaria Rapido Ragozzino

Ahead of the International Donors’ Conference on June 17, UNHCR, the United Nations Refugee Agency and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) are calling for renewed international support to meet the urgent needs of refugees and migrants from Venezuela and to help their host countries.

“As the exodus of Venezuelans continues over time, it risks becoming a forgotten crisis,” said UNHCR-IOM Joint Special Representative for Venezuelan refugees and migrants, Eduardo Stein.

“The COVID-19 pandemic continues to devastate the region, and the future of millions of refugees and migrants and their hosts is at stake. Solidarity and commitment are needed more than ever to ensure the continuity of the assistance.

Prolonged closures, loss of livelihoods and increasing poverty force many Venezuelan refugees and migrants to depend on emergency humanitarian assistance to survive. The needs are dire in the areas of health, food security, water and basic sanitation, as well as access to education and opportunities to earn an income. The pandemic has also resulted in increased rates of evictions and homelessness, as well as a dramatic increase in reported cases of gender-based violence and mental health needs.

The continued departure of refugees and migrants from Venezuela is one of the world’s biggest external displacement crises. To date, more than 5.6 million people have left their countries. In this context, the 2021 Regional Refugee and Migrant Response Plan (RMRP) brings together 159 organizations to meet their urgent needs and put in place longer-term resilience and integration solutions targeting nearly 3.3 million Venezuelans and members of the host community. Yet the US $ 1.44 billion plan remains severely underfunded.

The countries of Latin America and the Caribbean host 80% of the refugees and migrants from Venezuela. They continued to show their solidarity during the global health emergency, in particular through the establishment of large-scale regularization programs. However, national capacities have been seriously strained by the pandemic.

“The burden should not fall on the countries of the region alone. The international community has a responsibility to support these efforts for regional stability, ”said Stein. “A lack of funding would leave hundreds of thousands of people unprotected, with few options to rebuild a life with dignity.”

Canada will host the next International Donors’ Conference in Solidarity with Venezuelan Refugees and Migrants on June 17, 2021, in collaboration with UNHCR and IOM, who co-lead the Regional Inter-Agency Coordination Platform for Refugees and Migrants of the Venezuela (R4V). The event will bring together host and donor governments and key actors involved in the response, including the private sector, development banks and civil society.

The International Donors’ Conference will take place from 3:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. CEST Geneva (9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in Canada; 8:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. GMT + 5 in Panama) on June 17. The event will be broadcast live here.

Note to editors:

  • Media representatives wishing to attend the closing press conference must register in advance here.
  • More information on the R4V platform and the 2021 response plan is available at: R4V.info.
  • Last year, the RMRP appealed for $ 1.41 billion to meet the needs of Venezuelan refugees and migrants and their host communities in 17 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. At the end of 2020, this call was only 47.1% funded.
  • The commitments made by donors at the 2020 International Donors’ Conference in Solidarity with Venezuelan Refugees and Migrants in Latin America and the Caribbean, convened by the European Union (EU) and Spain, amounted to 2, $ 79 billion, including $ 653 million in grants.

BROLL: https://media.unhcr.org/Share/77g6608r67c1fxjj22iqa428y6ag24cx

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In Panama,

In Canada,

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