A US$1.35 billion appeal has been launched to meet the increasing humanitarian needs of Venezuelan refugees and migrants in Latin America and the Caribbean and to support the communities hosting them. The ongoing political and economic crisis in Venezuela has forced more than 4.6 million citizens to flee, nearly 80% of whom are sheltering in the region.
The exodus of Venezuelans is on track to reach 5 million people, as pressure grows on neighboring countries to provide them with long-term support, United Nations and European Union officials said on Wednesday.
The European Union and a group of Latin American governments that have kept a moderate line on Venezuela called on Thursday for democratic and fresh elections, during a meeting held in Montevideo. The EU-backed International Contact Group on Venezuela said overly forceful intervention could aggravate the crisis.
Around two million more Venezuelans are expected to flee their country during 2019, according to a United Nations forecast released Friday in Geneva. If true, the total number of Venezuelan migrants could reach 5.3 million a year from now.
Guatemalan former Vice President Eduardo Stein on Wednesday announced that he was withdrawing his candidacy to head the Organization of American States due to health reasons. Stein's withdrawal leaves Uruguay's foreign minister, Luis Almagro, as the only declared candidate for the post.
Member states of the Organization of American States (OAS) agreed that the next Assistant Secretary General will be elected on the same day as the election of the next Secretary General, 18 March 2015. The initiative was approved during Wednesday's regular meetings by the OAS Permanent Council.