To begin, I wish to extend my gratitude to the Government of Chile, as well as the Chilean people, for their hospitality during this visit, my first to Chile as Under Secretary of State for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights.
On behalf of the United States, I would also like to reaffirm our steadfast commitment to assist refugees and migrants, and the host communities that support them, here in Chile and across the region.
In addition to nearly half a million Venezuelans, Chile also hosts large numbers of Colombian, Haitian, and Peruvian migrants, and we are appreciative for all our partners in Chile are doing for these groups. Your historic generosity in receiving people who are fleeing out of desperation, who are seeking refuge, is an inspiration to us all.
I met with some of these individuals today and heard firsthand about their treacherous journeys, as well as the challenges they have faced along the way and their hopes and dreams for their future.
They want what everyone wants – to live in dignity. They want a place to call home, where they can work and contribute, and their children can receive an education to advance toward a brighter future.
We know Chile and the people of Chile are supporting them in this and the United States is providing support to complement your efforts as you help them achieve dignity and security.
Our humanitarian partners told us they need real and sustained support for Venezuelans and others – support that reaches the most vulnerable including survivors of gender-based violence, children and unaccompanied minors, and LGBTQI+ persons.
We are listening and have acted upon these calls for support.
In fiscal year 2021 alone, the United States provided more than $9 million in humanitarian assistance to protect and assist Venezuelans and other refugees, asylum seekers, and vulnerable migrants in Chile.
These funds have provided those we assist with legal counseling, medical care, safe shelter, hygiene kits, and basic relief items, such as blankets and winter clothes. These funds have also helped support the generous Chilean communities who are hosting refugees, asylum seekers, and vulnerable migrants.
Today I’m pleased to announce more than $6 million in additional humanitarian assistance for these activities in Chile. This brings total U.S. humanitarian support for Venezuelans and other vulnerable migrants in Chile since Venezuela’s governance crisis began to nearly $26 million.
The United States looks forward to coordinating our efforts with the Government of Chile, our United Nations and civil society partners, and most importantly, the migrant and refugee communities and hosts who also deserve to have their voices heard.