The EU and the Spanish Government convened an International Donors’ Conference to mobilize financial support for Venezuelan refugees and migrants and affected hosting countries amid COVID-19. The initiative was supported by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

A total of €2.544 billion (of which €595 million in grants) were pledged by international donors, with the EU mobilising €231.7 million in grant funding. The European Commission pledged €144.2 million. Loans worth €400 million will be available for countries most affected by the Venezuelan exodus from the European Investment Bank.

The EU will fund development support worth €70 million to support the socio-economic integration of Venezuelan migrants and refugees in host communities. Countries hosting the majority of Venezuelan refugees are Colombia, Peru and Ecuador. For humanitarian assistance, with a focus on health, protection, nutrition, education, water and sanitation and psychosocial support, the EU will spend €67.7 million.

According to Eduardo Stein, UNHCR-IOM Joint Special Representative, “These contributions will make a real difference to the lives of refugees and migrants from Venezuela, who have been extremely hard-hit by the pandemic”.

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Photo: (CC) MARQUINAM, February 2014

This article appeared in the ECRE Weekly Bulletin . You can subscribe to the Weekly Bulletin here.