international donors pledge over $850 million for venezuelan refugees
Scores of international donors have vowed more than $850 million at a two-day conference in Brussels co-hosted by the EU and Canada to support millions of refugees and migrants who have fled Venezuela, the 27-nation bloc said on Friday.
The meeting aimed to raise awareness and funds in response to what many call one of the largest displacement crises in the world. Grinding poverty and a political crisis have compelled over 7 million Venezuelans to leave the country, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) estimates.
Almost $860 million have been pledged at the 2023 International Conference in Solidarity with Venezuelan Refugees and Migrants and their Host Countries and Communities, European crisis management commissioner Janez Lenarcic said.
He applauded the renewed commitment of the global community. Among the main pledges made at the conference were $42 million from Canada, $80 million from the EU, and $171 million from the US.
However, the Venezuelan government has raised accusations against the EU and Canada for convening a “hostile” conference that politicises migration. Caracas strongly objected to the meeting, with the foreign ministry calling it a “spectacle that only serves the commercial interests of some participants”.
The International Organisation for Migration and the UNHCR were both involved in the conference. They had called on the international community to offer greater support for refugees and migrants fleeing Venezuela and the Latin American and Caribbean countries that host them.