During the Pledging Conference, governments and donors raised over 700 million euros to respond to Venezuela’s refugee and migrant crisis.
This fundraising effort is an essential step to provide aid to over five million refugees and migrants from Venezuela who are in the countries of the region in the middle of the coronavirus crisis, explained seven humanitarian organizations that are members of the “Civil society coalition for the defence of the rights of refugees, migrants and displaced people in Latin America and the Caribbean (Coalición LAC RMD)”.
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It is vital that the new funding of donors and generous governments is expeditiously allocated through organizations that have local presence and to people with greatest needs. This call was made by 29 civil society organizations and networks, which also highlighted the need of guaranteeing civil society participation in inter-agency coordination mechanisms and of improving dialogue between organizations.
Oxfam’s Deputy Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, Asier Hernando Malax-Echevarría said, “We expect that these new resources will timely and effectively reach the most vulnerable people. Millions of Venezuelan refugees and migrants are living a crisis within a crisis because they have been marginalized from the coronavirus responses and are living under conditions of overcrowding, without access to health, to extraordinary bonus or emergency subsidies for unemployment.”
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Country director of the Norwegian Refugee Council in Colombia, Dominika Arseniuk said, “Given the harshness of this pandemic, close to 50.000 Venezuelan migrants have returned – many have walked through the borders between Colombia and Venezuela. The new resources pledged should reach the people with the greatest needs to alleviate their suffering. Thousands have lost their jobs, do not have enough money for food, medicines nor a rent.”
The result of this Conference represents a renewed opportunity for thousands of Venezuelan migrants who remain without any type of documentation or legal status among the countries of the region. Many of them don’t have any access to basic services or guarantees of their fundamental rights such as education or dignified work. Sustainable aid is vital to support migrants, particularly women, girls and boys, who are exposed to risks such as sexual and labour exploitation, human trafficking, violence and xenophobia.
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