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Spain to lead virtual donor conference for Venezuelan refugees


Spain to lead virtual donor conference for Venezuelan refugees

Venezuelan refugees in front of a UNHCR poster
Photo: Reuters/Luisa Gonzalez

A donor conference for Venezuelan refugees will be held virtually today by the Spanish government and the EU, in association with the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

Over 40 countries, international financial institutions and representatives of civil society organisations will participate. The gathering intends to raise awareness and mobilise resources to help manage one of the largest external displacement crises in the world.

Since 2014, over five million people have been forced to leave Venezuela, driven by a crumbling economy, the deep political crisis, and an uptick in violence in recent years. An estimated 80% of these migrants and refugees have moved to neighboring countries, creating a regional crisis. Despite progress on issues like integration, documentation requirements and social protection, the influx of immigrants poses a significant economic strain on recipient countries. Many have been overwhelmed by the magnitude of the situation and have imposed entry restrictions for Venezuelans.

Economic pressure and the spread of COVID-19 in recipient countries have heightened the need to raise funds from the international community. However, do not expect the conference to yield any major commitments from countries outside of the US and Europe, due to concerns about the prospects of the Venezuelan political situation.

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