Venezuelan refugees, migrants, and their hosts need help to chart a brighter future

Venezuelan migrants and refugees lining up in Pacaraima, Brazil. Photo: IOM/Gema Cortes.

Geneva/Brussels- The International Organization for Migration (IOM), and UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, 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 IOM and UNHCR, 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.

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