Venezuela Conference starts engine of international solidarity
"The Venezuelan crisis and its humanitarian impact need to go back on top of the international agenda. I believe that the conference has been a success in this respect", said EU High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini following the two-day International Solidarity Conference on the Venezuelan refugee and migrant crisis held in Brussels on 28-29 October.
"We have clearly said that this was not a pledging conference. And yet, there were commitments made during these two days that are good news", Mogherini stressed. Individual delegations announced around EUR 120 million as additional contributions, EUR 30 million coming from the EU institutions.
The European Union and its Member States have so far provided more than EUR 320 million in assistance inside Venezuela as well as in the region and are ready to do more.
Federica Mogherini, together with Filippo Grandi (UNHCR) and António Vitorino (IOM), called for this Conference which brought together 120 delegations, including EU institutions and Member States, the most affected Latin and American and Caribbean countries, UN agencies, private sector, NGOs, civil society organisations and development actors including international financial institutions.
"This has been yet another excellent demonstration of how the European Union and the UN system manage to work together when we have clear objectives in mind", Mogherini emphasised, adding that "there are instruments of multilateralism that, when there is political will, can deliver good results".
All support matters for the 4.5 million Venezuelans who have left their country with little more than a few personal belongings in search for safety and dignity. "This figure could reach 6.5 million people by end of 2020 worldwide", the Joint communiqué by the co-chairs stated.
"The Conference commended the remarkable solidarity of countries in the region and acknowledged the substantial challenges they face", the Joint communiqué further reads.
The High Representative underlined that investing in the needs of refugees and migrants crises was also a moral duty, "because it is people who are suffering". "It is children, it is women, it is men, who have changed completely and not voluntarily their life", she said.
While the co-chairs noted with appreciation the additional pledges during the conference, they also highlighted the importance of a continuous process over the coming year to mobilize additional funding.
Federica Mogherini reiterated that the real solution would come in the moment when Venezuela will find democracy and peace, and that the mobilization of humanitarian assistance and pledges complemented with a sense of urgency our work to find a political solution to solve the Venezuelan political crisis.
Main photo: IOM