LIMA (Reuters) - Latin American countries who are hosting the most Venezuelan migrants could in future receive financial support from an international fund, Peru’s foreign minister said on Monday.
Gustavo Mesa-Cuadra said authorities from different nations and organizations would meet in the coming months to discuss the formation of a donors’ group to help those affected by the second largest migrant flow in the world after those fleeing the civil war in Syria.
The meeting was being arranged by the Lima Group of 15 countries to seek resolutions to the Venezuela crisis in concert with international organizations including the World Bank, and would be held in Washington or Spain, the minister said.
The United Nations has estimated that four million Venezuelan migrants are abroad because of the country’s economic and political crisis and $1.35 billion will be needed this year alone to meet their basic needs in the 17 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean that are sheltering them.
Some 5,000 Venezuelans leave their country each day, the Organization of American States has said, and the number could double to 8 million by the end of 2020.
“A meeting (for) a donor drive to fulfill the needs of host countries is one of the things we are working on very seriously,” Mesa-Cuadra told reporters in Lima.
He did not provide further details about the countries or agencies that could make up the donor grouping or the amounts they would raise.
Some 860,000 Venezuelans have arrived in Peru fleeing the crisis in Venezuela, according to data from the migration office until 2018, making the Andean country the second largest recipient of these migrants after Colombia.
Meza-Cuadra reaffirmed that the main objective of the Lima Group remains “the return to democracy in Venezuela” while supporting the opposition leader Juan Guaidó, recognized by more than 50 countries as the legitimate leader instead of socialist President Nicolas Maduro.
Reporting by Marco Aquino, writing by Aislinn Laing; editing by Grant McCool