EIB President Hoyer participated in the  "International Donors Conference in solidarity with Venezuelan migrants and refugees in the countries of the region, amid COVID-19", convened by the European Union together with the Government of Spain and with support of the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM).

At the event, Werner Hoyer outlined EIB Group´s support for the countries affected by the Venezuelan exodus:  "To strengthen the resilience of those countries most impacted by the migration exodus from Venezuela, the EU Bank is building an investment pipeline of up to €400 million. With the support of the EU Commission under the External Lending Mandate, the EIB will finance social and economic infrastructure, ensuring sustainable water and wastewater treatmentclean energyeducation for allhealthcare, and the creation of sustainable jobs”.

At a time of extraordinary difficulties, due to the global shock caused by the pandemic, the conference aims to raise awareness and mobilise support to demonstrate the international community’s solidarity with the affected migrants and host countries. “Resilience and projects improving services for refugees, migrants and hosting populations alike will remain central to approach. At this Conference, Europe is demonstrating that it stands ready to respond to global responsibilities, despite the difficult times. We at the EU Bank will play our role in economically supporting Europe and its partners in the post-crisis transformation”, President Hoyer emphasised.

It is estimated that, so far, over 5 million Venezuelans have fled because of the political turmoil, socio-economic instability and humanitarian crisis in their country. At the conference, over 40 countries, along with the United Nations Agencies, international financial institutions and representatives of national and international civil society addressed this unprecedented crisis with the goal to mobilise resources for the displaced population and the main host communities, and strengthen the coordination among the key actors.

The EIB Group is working to mitigate the effects of this pandemic inside and outside the EU. As part of ‘Team Europe’ led by the European Commission, the EIB Group is committed to provide financing of up to €5.2 billion to strengthen health services and accelerate support for economic resilience in more than 100 countries around the world. This financing will both strengthen urgent health investment and accelerate long-standing support for private sector investment that reflects financing needs. Latin American and the Caribbean will be among the regions benefiting from this EIB accelerated and fast-track financing investments that will contribute to respond to this crisis. The EU Bank is also financing research and development efforts to find effective treatments and vaccines, aimed at global access.

The European Union is the main partner for the development of the Latin America region and its number one investor. The EIB is the bank of the EU and it has been operating in Latin America since 1993. Since then, more than €10.2 billion has been provided to support investments in 14 countries. Last year, the EIB increased its activity in Latin America to reach €817 million, the highest volume of financing in the last 6 years. These funds are also contributing to sustainable and inclusive development in the region, promoting fundamental climate action: more than 78% of the activity along 2019 was destined for projects focused on mitigation and adaptation to climate change.

In October 2019, the EU organised in Brussels, together with UNHCR and IOM, the first Solidarity Conference to raise awareness on the magnitude of the situation and on the need to mobilise funds through a donor conference in the first half of 2020. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on societies makes it even more urgent to fulfil this commitment.