Check Against Delivery
I want to draw the Council's attention to the joint letter circulated last week on behalf of four European Union member states regarding the outcome of the International Donors Conference in solidarity with Venezuelan refugees and migrants in Latin America and the Caribbean.
We've talked recently quite a bit about Venezuela and all the consequences in the region. We felt it was appropriate to say at least a few words here on this conference that was held on the 26th of May, organized by the European Union and Spain with the support of UNHCR and the IOM, who all together convened this conference. More than 40 countries, along with U.N. agencies, international financial institutions and civil society addressed the unprecedented crisis. Very importantly, they mobilized significant resources for the displaced population and the main host communities and discussed ways to strengthen the coordination among key actors. At a time when the world's attention is focused on the fight against COVID-19, and as the virus is spreading dramatically in South America, we must not lose sight of the needs of more than five million Venezuelan refugees and migrants who have fled mostly to neighboring countries.
It is encouraging that this pledging conference generated an impressive 2.5 billion euros. Around two billion are loans and some 600 million euros are grants. So altogether more than 2.5 billion euros. I think that's worth mentioning. Germany stands solidarity with Venezuela's neighbors and commends them for the food, shelter, education, medical care and other assistance they have provided to those Venezuelan refugees. In order to support the countries of the region most severely impacted by the greatest refugee crisis in American history, the German government has also decided to provide an additional, twenty-two million euros in aid. We are increasing our contribution to overcoming this crisis this year to a total of 57 million euros as a sign of solidarity and friendship with Latin America. We are very grateful that the EU and Spain organized this conference.