Joint Statement of the Group of Friends of the Quito Process (22 February 2021)
1. The Group of Friends of the Quito Process commends the decision of the Government of Colombia to offer Temporary Protection Status to Venezuelan migrants and refugees in its country for the next ten years. This remarkable act of solidarity should contribute to reducing human suffering for Venezuelans, while facilitating economic integration and access to services.
2. As a result of the worsening situation inside Venezuela, nearly 5.5 million Venezuelans have fled their country to seek protection, assistance, and employment, which represents the second largest flow of new external displacements in the world, after Syria. Colombia is host to the largest population of Venezuelans affected by this crisis with more than 1.7 million Venezuelan migrants and refugees in its territory.
3. A crisis of this magnitude requires a regionally coordinated response, in which the Quito Process, currently under the Pro Tempore Presidency of Peru, and in cooperation with UNHCR and IOM, plays a vital role.
4. The Group of Friends notes that this announcement comes at a challenging time while the countries of the Quito Process are faced with the unrelenting health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The access for Venezuelan migrants and refugees to basic health services, including vaccinations against COVID-19, will contribute to the pandemic recovery process.
5. The Group of Friends remains committed to supporting the Quito Process in its efforts to coordinate domestic policies to manage Venezuelan migration flows more effectively.
Supported by: Canada, the European Union, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, the United States.