Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield
U.S. Representative to the United Nations
New York, New York
March 17, 2023
Thank you very much, and hello to everyone. On behalf of the United States, I thank the EU, Canada, UNHCR, and IOM for convening this important conference.
Last year, for the first time, the global number of forcibly displaced people surpassed 100 million. A staggering milestone.
And while refugees come from every corner of the world, a majority come from a handful of countries. One of those countries is Venezuela. More than 7 million people have been forced to flee Venezuela. We must continue to provide critical assistance to Venezuelan refugees and migrants, their host communities, and those still in Venezuela.
And that’s why, today, the United States is proud to announce more than $171 million in new humanitarian assistance and development funding to respond to this crisis. This new funding will help provide food, health care, emergency shelter, and access to legal and protection services.
But a crisis of this scale requires each and every one of us to step up. And I want to commend the 17 countries throughout the region that generously host the majority of people who have been forced to flee Venezuela.
I want to thank Ecuador in particular, for its leadership to the International Financing Action Package Committee for the Los Angeles Declaration, and for its continued commitment to regularizing Venezuelans in Ecuador.
And I want to thank Colombia for the sustained implementation of its landmark 10-year temporary protective status for Venezuelans.
Of course, I also extend deep appreciation to all the donors and participants here today. The work we are doing, together, will save lives. It will change lives.
This week, I’ve been thinking about Ke Huy Quan, who just won an Oscar for best supporting actor. During his acceptance speech, Quan reminded us of the limitless potential inside every refugee. He said, “I spent a year in a refugee camp and somehow I ended up here, on Hollywood’s biggest stage.”
Let us work together to unlock the potential of every refugee affected by this crisis.
And let us do everything in our power to advance a peaceful, political solution in Venezuela – and one that will restore democracy and the rule of law, and bring security and prosperity to all.
Thank you very much.