"In international relations, humanitarian assistance is the human expression of solidarity, cooperation and sensitivity towards those who are in need due to a political, social or economic crisis which deprives them of everything, and, regardless of other surrounding issues, which are debatable, it is something concrete that people appreciate. These actions of international solidarity should be at the centre of the objectives of any foreign policy," stated Foreign Minister Jorge Faurie at the Palacio San Martín as he opened the 9th Meeting of the International Mechanisms for Humanitarian Assistance (MIAH).
Joined by the Deputy Director of the Operations and Advocacy Division of OCHA (the UN office responsible for coordinating humanitarian affairs), Lynn Hastings; and Ambassador Alejandro Daneri, President of the White Helmets Commission, Faurie explained that "humanitarian assistance, through the different mechanisms gathered here, has become increasingly important on the international agenda. Argentina has vast experience in the field through the White Helmets, who have been working for 25 years under the UN umbrella and have shown several times that speedy and effective assistance can be provided in very diverse situations."
Faurie underscored the fact that "humanitarian assistance is very significant in crises such as the one we are going through in South and Central America due to the situation in Venezuela, which has led to the migration of a large number of people. It is estimated that, by the end of the year, 5 million Venezuelans will have left their country, with deep sorrow, as a consequence of the violation of their civil and political rights and their impossibility to access food, water and medicine due to the magnitude of the crisis. The countries of the region have dialogue and support mechanisms because this migration has had consequences for them."
"President Macri has been clear from the beginning and has given precise instructions with regard to the work undertaken in Cúcuta by the White Helmets, who have provided primary health care to 5 thousand patients in the last year. In addition, Argentina became part of the U.S. hospital ship with a team of 13 professionals who have provided assistance in Ecuador, Peru and Colombia, where they treated 26 thousand patients and performed several surgeries. Another team coordinated and gathered medicine and, in addition, the Foreign Ministry has created a Support Unit for the Reconstruction of Venezuela which is receiving donations with a view to alleviating this situation, the first one on such a scale in South and Central America.
Joined by the Head of the Regional Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs for Latin America and the Caribbean, Rein Andre Paulsen, Faurie underscored the fact that "this meeting will serve as a forum to share practices and experiences, work towards prevention and thus achieve better and more efficient assistance. It challenges our capabilities in terms of infrastructure and how we jointly react to emergencies, while ratifying the significant value of humanitarian assistance in situations such as wars, migrations and natural disasters."