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Venezuela: Vulnerable People

Volume 644: debated on Wednesday 4 July 2018

We are deeply concerned by the worsening crisis in Venezuela. Too many Venezuelans are suffering the consequences of the Maduro Government’s mismanagement. While we are urging the Venezuelan Government to accept humanitarian aid, we are deploying two humanitarian advisers to the region in support of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s efforts to push the Government of Venezuela to meet the needs of their population.

The Minister will be aware of the United Nations human rights report that details the complete erosion of the rule of law and human rights in Venezuela. Will he explain to the House what the UK is doing to support economic reform and stability in the region, to ensure that the money is spent in the right place while the Venezuelan Government still refuse to acknowledge that there is a humanitarian crisis?

We are providing support in the crisis and to the region through the funding of key UN and humanitarian agencies, but, as my hon. Friend says, this is limited because of the Venezuelan Government’s refusal to admit the seriousness and reality of the situation. We are urging them to address the most urgent needs of their own population.

Very large numbers of people are fleeing the situation in Venezuela, particularly into neighbouring Colombia. Will the Minister tell us what the Government are doing to address that situation, and what opportunity the Government see for the proposed UN global compact for refugees to address crises such as this one?

The hon. Gentleman is right to highlight the regional crisis and the growing global problem of refugees in relation to the length of time they stay in host states and their prospects of returning. Venezuela is not the only affected area. We continue to support UN agencies in relation to this, and we are playing a leading part in creating the new compact for refugees.