Canada mobilizes international donors to support Venezuelan refugees, migrants and countries in the region

News release

June 17, 2021 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada

Today, Canada convened the International Donors’ Conference in Solidarity with Venezuelan Refugees and Migrants in collaboration with UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and the International Organization for Migration. The conference increased the international visibility of the second-largest displacement crisis in the world and mobilized additional resources to support the response.

Through videoconference, international donors pledged a total of $1.5 billion USD in funding, including $954 million USD in grants and $600 million USD in loans. Within this amount, Canada pledged $115.4 million CAD, announced by the Honourable Karina Gould, Minister of International Development. This funding will go toward immediate humanitarian assistance, including shelter, food, water, sanitation and hygiene, health and protection for those affected by the crisis. It will also support longer-term development assistance to improve access to quality education and the integration of Venezuelan refugees and migrants, as well as strengthen public services in host countries and communities.

Host countries and donors, as well as civil society and private sector actors, reflected on progress made to date and identified future actions needed to maintain focus on the crisis. Crucially, participants heard directly from affected refugees and migrants, who shared their stories of hardship and hope.


“It has been a privilege for Canada to host this event, which demonstrates our continued commitment to respond to this crisis. We applaud the solidarity shown today by partners and donor countries and recognize the enormous efforts of host countries to mobilize opportunities for the millions of Venezuelans seeking new lives across the region.”

- Karina Gould, Minister of International Development

“We are at a critical juncture. The COVID-19 pandemic has hit Latin America and the Caribbean with particular ferocity, at a time when they struggle to respond to the world’s second largest displacement of people outside their country. Of the 5.6 million Venezuelan refugees and migrants, 4.6 million are in the region. The responsibility of protecting and assisting them and the communities that host them cannot lie only with the countries of the region. It must be shared by the wider international community.”

- Filippo Grandi, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

“Funding both the humanitarian response to people in need as well as increasing support for socio-economic integration must remain a priority. Refugees and migrants contribute greatly to the economic, social and cultural life of host societies. We encourage any effort that allows them opportunities to thrive.”

- António Vitorino, Director General, International Organization for Migration

“Today’s Donors’ Conference is an excellent example of how the International Community, host countries, development banks, international organizations and civil society, are working together to help Venezuelan refugees and migrants. Predictable funding is paramount to provide lifesaving assistance, protection and integration solutions to the most vulnerable refugees and migrants and the countries that receive them. We are proud to be part of this common effort.”

- Eduardo Stein, Joint UNHCR-IOM Special Representative for Venezuelan Refugees and Migrants

Quick facts

  • Canada organized the conference to call on the international community to mobilize much-needed additional resources to help respond to the urgent needs of millions of people.

  • The number of refugees and migrants leaving Venezuela is increasing daily, making it the second-largest external displacement crisis in the world, with over 5.6 million individuals having left or fled the country since 2015. 

  • Since 2019, Canada has committed $86 million in funding to respond to the humanitarian and development needs of Venezuelan migrants and refugees in the region.

Associated links


Guillaume Dumas
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of International Development

Media Relations Office
Global Affairs Canada
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