Lithuanians living in Venezuela are welcome in their homeland


2019 08 28

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As the humanitarian crisis  in Venezuela develops, the Government, acting pursuant to the Law on the Relocation of Persons to the Republic of Lithuania which came into force on 1 June 2019, approved the start and financing of the process of relocation specified therein.  

'The Government takes care of the citizens of the Republic of Lithuania and families of Lithuanian descent which need Government's assistance to their return  to Lithuania. Our fellow countrymen who live in Venezuela threatened by political, economic and humanitarian crisis will have the possibility to settle in Lithuania. Law on the Relocation of Persons to the Republic of Lithuania adopted in June and initiated by the Government will enable the provision of a wide range of support, including financial support. Thus you are welcome in your homeland', said the Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis.

The resettlement scheme will ensure the coverage of travel expenses, access to housing, allowances for setting up and other essential spending, allowanced for education of children, Lithuanian language learning assistance, etc.

The resettlement of persons in 2019 will be financed by funds from the Reserve Fund of the Government and later – from appropriations of responsible institutions. It is expected that in the first stage 10 persons from Venezuela will be relocated and the costs of their relocation in 2019–2020 are estimated to amount to 130 thousand. Requests for status of a relocated person may be submitted by October 2020.

The aim of the consular mission in Venezuela organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in November 2018 was to assess the need for relocation to Lithuania. It also included the collection of data on approx. 50 citizens of the Republic of Lithuania, persons of Lithuanian descent and their family members who  would consider moving to Lithuania if certain conditions, i.e. state support for the relocation and integration of such persons, are ensured.

According to the data of the Register of Population of the Republic of Lithuania, 187 citizens of Lithuania live in Venezuela. Lithuanian community in Venezuela unites approx. 400 persons of Lithuanian descent. It is estimated that approx. 1000 citizens of Lithuania and persons of Lithuanian descent live in Venezuela.

Political and economic crisis in Venezuela continues to deepen. People of Venezuela lack food, medications and daily consumer goods. 82 per cent of population have no drinking water, 95 per cent of it  live below the poverty threshold, moreover, people are at risk from the activities of criminal gangs. It is estimated that approx. 5 million people will leave the country by the end of 2019.