OTTAWA, Canada – On March 16 and 17, 2023, Harjit Sajjan, minister of international development, and Janez Lenarčič, European Commissioner for crisis management, will co-host the International Conference in Solidarity with Venezuelan Refugees and Migrants and their host countries and communities. The conference will be organized in close collaboration with the UNHCR—the UN Refugee Agency, and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), co-leads of the Regional Inter-Agency Coordination Platform for Refugees and Migrants from Venezuela, as well as key host countries and partners.
The outflow of refugees and migrants from Venezuela is currently one of the largest displacement crises in the world, with more than 7.1 million people having fled or left their country. The current global context, and lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, have compounded an already difficult situation for Venezuelan refugees, migrants and their host communities—particularly women and girls.
Canada and the EU are calling on the international community to maintain the visibility of this crisis, and to continue to support host countries in the Latin America and Caribbean regions that are undertaking significant efforts to welcome and integrate Venezuelan refugees and migrants in their communities, economies and societies.
The Conference will bring together host and donor governments, as well as other key actors in the response, including from international organizations, civil society, international financial institutions and the private sector. It will also benefit from the participation of affected Venezuelan refugees and migrants. The Conference will be an opportunity to reflect on progress made to date in the response; raise awareness of ongoing challenges, priorities and opportunities; mobilize additional support, and identify actions to maintain focus and visibility on the crisis.
Eduardo Stein, Joint Special Representative of UNHCR and IOM for Venezuelan Refugees and Migrants, said: “As the world faces numerous humanitarian crises, Venezuelans and their host communities must not be forgotten. Host countries have shown continued leadership in responding to the crisis by establishing regularization initiatives and facilitating access to health, education and other social services, as well as economic integration. However, their capacities are stretched and require urgent international support.”