Thank you, Mr. Vice President, and good afternoon to everyone. The Department of State is excited to be a part of the international support for Venezuelans who have fled to neighboring countries in search of safety, food, and the opportunity to live their lives in freedom. As Vice President Pence stated, the United States is providing nearly $16 million in additional humanitarian assistance to help meet the basic needs of these men and women who have lost everything to escape the Maduro regime.
This funding supports the regional response by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, international organizations, and NGOs responding to the crisis. This funding will provide support for the most vulnerable, security from violence and exploitation, and work and education opportunities for Venezuelan people.
We have been committed since the early stages of the crisis. Last year, UNHCR allocated more than $3 million provided by the United States to provide immediate humanitarian assistance. Recently, UNHCR issued a $46 million emergency appeal for Venezuela, covering nine countries across the region. For example, with this U.S. funding, UNHCR will work with local governments to increase registration of Venezuelans and support their access to local services such as healthcare, education, food, and shelter.
The United States is impressed by the generosity and compassion of those countries throughout the hemisphere who lead by example, hosting and providing humanitarian assistance to hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans. We also commend the humanitarian contributions from our partners in Asia and Europe, and encourage additional contributions to meet growing humanitarian needs. Unfortunately, the Maduro regime continues to reject offers of international assistance. President Maduro should welcome this international aid, including food and medicine, and we call on him to do so immediately.
The United States will continue to stand with the international community in support of the Venezuelan people and their right to have a voice in their government. Thank you.
Source: US Department of State