Venezuelan refugees, migrants, and their hosts need help to chart a brighter future
Joint statement by UNHCR and IOM
UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) urged today increased international support for refugees and migrants from Venezuela and the communities in Latin America and the Caribbean that host them.
Nearly 7.2 million Venezuelans have left their country in recent years. The vast majority, 6 million, are hosted by countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.
While various regularization and documentation initiatives have been implemented in the region, enabling access to vital rights and services for many, the international community needs to continue protecting refugees and migrants from Venezuela and investing in the communities hosting them.
Additional funding is required to support and complement the efforts made by neighboring countries to provide options and stability to Venezuelan refugees and migrants and their hosts. They must not be left behind amid the numerous humanitarian crises worldwide.
Venezuelan refugees and migrants in the region continue to struggle to meet their most basic needs, including food, health care, education and housing. The increasing cost of living, the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, lack of documentation or regularized status, and high unemployment rates have left them particularly vulnerable.
Now is the time for action, to think of solutions and invest in those who have found opportunities in neighboring countries, while continuing to provide emergency assistance to the most vulnerable and those on the move as well as enhancing the support to the communities in Venezuela welcoming those who decide to return.
The Government of Canada and the European Union will co-host the high-level International Conference in Solidarity with Venezuelan Refugees and Migrants and their Host Countries and Communities on 16 and 17 March in Brussels, together with UNHCR and IOM, co-leads of the Regional Inter-Agency Coordination Platform for Refugees and Migrants from Venezuela (R4V).
The conference will bring together host and donor governments, as well as key actors in the response, including international organizations, civil society, international financial institutions, and the private sector. It will include the participation of affected Venezuelan refugees and migrants.
Note to editors
The 2023 International Conference in Solidarity with Venezuelan Refugees and Migrants and their Host Countries and Communities will be live-streamed on:
- 16 March: 2023 International Conference in Solidarity with Venezuelan Refugees and Migrants and their Host Countries and Communities - Streaming Service of the European Commission (europa.eu)
- 17 March: 2023 International Conference in Solidarity with Venezuelan Refugees and Migrants and their Host Countries and Communities - Streaming Service of the European Commission (europa.eu)
- On 15 March, a side event ”R4V Sector Roundtables” will take place to contribute to raising awareness and visibility on the achievements of the response, as well as continued gaps, needs, and challenges of the various response sectors. These Roundtables will be live-streamed in Spanish and English on the R4V YouTube channel.
- The Regional Refugee and Migrant Response Plan (RMRP) for 2023 requires $1.72 billion to support 3.41 million refugees and migrants and host communities across the 17 countries to support their needs, integration and inclusion in national systems. More information on the RMRP 2023-2024 coordinated by R4V is available at: R4V.info. Last year, the RMRP appealed for $ 1.79 billion, and by the end of 2022, it was 37.8 per cent funded.
- Donors committed $2.3 billion at the 2021 conference.
- Inside Venezuela, the 2022-2023 Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) provides a framework for humanitarian action in the country. The HRP seeks to build capacities at the institutional, community, and individual levels to improve the provision of essential services, restore livelihoods, and strengthen resilience and the capacity to recover of the most vulnerable people in Venezuela.
For more information, please contact:
- William Spindler, UNHCR, [email protected], +507 6382 7815
- Gema Cortes, OIM, [email protected], +32 470 99 54 35
- Maeve Patterson, UNHCR, [email protected], +32 470 99 54 35
- Ryan Schroeder, OIM, [email protected], +32 492 25 02 34
- Olga Sarrado Mur, UNHCR, [email protected], +41 797 402 307
- Diego Perez, OIM, [email protected], +41 795 827 235