State Secretary Raščan at the Second Donors' Conference in Solidarity with Venezuelan Refugees and Migrants
At the virtual Conference in Solidarity with Venezuelan Refugees and Migrants, State Secretary Stanislav Raščan announced Slovenia's humanitarian contribution in the amount of 60,000 euros. The contribution will be directed to efforts to provide support to Venezuelan refugees in Brazil through the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), in two parts, this year and next.
This year's Second International Donors' Conference, hosted by Canada in cooperation with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the regional inter-agency coordination platform Refugees and Migrants from Venezuela (R4V), was attended by the representatives of Latin American and Caribbean countries, which for many years have provided shelter to more than 4.6 million Venezuelan refugees and migrants in the region (including Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay, Costa Rica, Panama), international organisations, including international financial institutions (World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank), representatives of civil society and the private sector, the European Commission and high representatives of many donor countries, including 21 EU Member States, Japan, Korea, Norway, New Zealand, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates and the United States.
In addition to Canadian Minister of International Development Karina Gould, the participants were addressed by IOM Director General António Vitorino, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi, Special Envoy for Venezuelan Refugees and Migrants in the Region Eduardo Stein, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, OAD Secretary-General Luis Almagro, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell and European Commissioners Jutta Urpilainen and Janez Lenarčič. The European Union has announced further support for efforts to find a peaceful solution to the long-standing complex crisis and assistance to the affected Venezuelans and the countries of the region, which have hospitably welcomed them, as well as a new donation. Some new donors have joined the existing ones, including some EU Member States.
State Secretary Raščan commended the organisation of the Second International Donors' Conference and thanked Canada and its co-organisers, including for organising a previous high-level meeting with civil society. He emphasised that a protracted, complex crisis of this kind required a coordinated international response and a political solution that would be peaceful, democratic, and inclusive. He expressed sympathy for the people inside and outside Venezuela most affected by the crisis. Slovenia supports the efforts of the European Union and international partners to find a solution to the crisis.
Slovenia responded to the difficult humanitarian situation in Venezuela for the first time in 2019, with a humanitarian contribution of 50,000 euros through the European Commission's Directorate for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management for the needs of the health sector. At the 2020 donors' conference, Slovenia provided a contribution of 10,000 euros through the ICR. One of Slovenia’s most important activities in the last two years has been the repatriation of members of the Slovene community from Venezuela and their family members to Slovenia, in accordance with the Act on Relations of the Republic of Slovenia with Slovenes Abroad.
The Venezuelan refugee crisis represents the largest migration crisis in modern Latin American history and currently the second largest humanitarian crisis in the world. More than 5.6 million people have left the country since 2015. The consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic and related restrictive measures to curb the spread of the virus have exacerbated the conditions of Venezuelan migrants and refugees over the past year and a half.