Minister of State for Overseas Development and the Diaspora, Colm Brophy TD, today expressed his grave concern about the humanitarian situation caused by the Venezuelan migrant crisis and pledged €2m in humanitarian assistance from Ireland towards the international response to the crisis, a doubling of last year’s grant.
Minister Brophy made the pledge at the 2021 International Donors’ Conference in Solidarity with Venezuelan Refugees and Migrants convened by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the International Organisation of Migration and the Government of Canada.
Minister Brophy said:
‘Forced displacement of children, women and men in regions all over the world is one of the most challenging problems facing us and we have heard today of the terrible plight of those who are forced to flee because of the crisis inside Venezuela. The exodus of Venezuelans from their home country is at historic levels. The impact on human lives remains critical and the situation has been further aggravated by the Covid-19 pandemic.’
Minister Brophy commended countries in the region for their generosity towards the victims of the crisis:
‘Countries neighbouring Venezuela have shown exceptional solidarity to those forced to leave. Now it is more crucial than ever that the international community shows increased solidarity with these countries.’
In announcing the funding pledge Minister Brophy called on the international community to engage and work with all stakeholders in Venezuela:
‘The international community needs to engage and work with all stakeholders in the country to support a peaceful, negotiated and democratic solution to the crisis. The solution should be led and owned by the long suffering people of Venezuela’.
17 June 2021
Notes for Editors
- The crisis in Venezuela has had a devastating effect on Venezuelans with many forced to leave the country.
- The exodus from the country is the largest in the recent history of Latin America. More than 5.4 million Venezuelan refugees and migrants are outside the country, with 4.6 million in the Latin America and the Caribbean region. Many Venezuelan refugees and migrants working in the informal economy in the wider region have lost their livelihoods. As a result, a growing number of Venezuelans are returning home.
- Latin America and the Caribbean remains one of the worst affected regions of the COVID-19 pandemic. Indigenous communities and Venezuelan refugees and migrants are particularly vulnerable.
- In 2020 Irish Aid provided €1 million in 2021 to the UNHCR – the UN Refugee Agency – in response to the Venezuelan Migrant Crisis. €2m is being provided in 2021. This is in addition to Ireland’s core funding to the global humanitarian system, including over €20 million in core support to UNHCR, IOM, the ICRC and the UN’s Central Emergency Response Fund. A grant of €500,000 was also made to the OCHA Venezuela Country Based Pooled Fund (CBPF) in December 2020. In addition, Irish Aid emergency relief supplies were recently delivered to the Colombian Red Cross for Venezuelan refugees in Colombia from Ireland’s prepositioned stocks in the UN Humanitarian Response Depot in Panama.