Lima, Peru - U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday announced new humanitarian aid to migrants and refugees in the Americas, on a visit to Peru.
Blinken is on a regional tour that has taken him to Colombia, Chile and now Lima, where he was attending the annual meeting of the Organization of American States (OAS) General Assembly, which closes Friday.
Shortly before attending OAS ministerial talks on the perplexing question of migration in the western hemisphere, Blinken told reporters of 'new humanitarian and bilateral and regional assistance' to the tune of $240 million.
This would go toward addressing the needs of refugees and migrants 'throughout our hemisphere,' he added, including health services, shelter, education, and legal assistance.
'We have more people on the move around the world, displaced from their homes, than at any time in recorded history - more than 100 million,' said Blinken.
'And our own hemisphere is experiencing that in deep, profound and new ways.'
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, 2nd from the left, waves as he stands with the leaders and representatives of the countries of the Organization of American States during a group photo during the 52nd OAS General Assembly in Lima, Peru, Oct. 6, 2022.
Migration has been a headache for the administration of President Joe Biden, with Republican opponents frequently claiming that he has left the southern U.S. border unprotected against unauthorized crossings.
Peru, which has an estimated 1.2 million Venezuelans within its borders, is playing host to the 52nd session of the OAS General Assembly of North and South American countries.
The meeting opened Wednesday with a video address by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who urged the body to support his country's plight in the face of Russia's military invasion.
The assembly was due Friday to adopt a resolution condemning the 'Russian aggression against Ukraine,' according to diplomatic sources.
It will also discuss resolutions on human rights concerns in Venezuela and Nicaragua, and on the troubling humanitarian situation in Haiti.
Blinken's visit has taken him to three countries that have recently elected leaders on the left of the political spectrum, which in Latin America has traditionally been strongly anti-United States.
In June, several Latin American leaders were angered by Washington's decision not to invite Nicaragua, Cuba and Venezuela - all under US sanctions - to a Summit of the Americas held in Los Angeles.