Colombia: Needs of Venezuelan Refugees Exceed Our Capacity

Venezuelan refugees in Colombia. Photo – Julio Cesar Herrera – elcolombiano.com

HAVANA TIMES – Colombia said Tuesday that its capacity to deal with the mass influx of Venezuelan migrants had been “surpassed,” adding that it had only received 30 per cent of the necessary international funding, reported dpa news.

The needs of the migrants “surpassed the capacities of the Colombian state months ago,” Foreign Minister Carlos Holmes Trujillo said at a press conference with Eduardo Stein, the special representative of the UN refugee agency for Venezuelan migrants.

Colombia, which has a 2,200-kilometer border with Venezuela, has received the largest number of people fleeing the country’s economic and political crisis.

About 111,000 more migrants have arrived over the past three months, bringing the total to more than 1.4 million, according to figures given by Holmes Trujillo.

More than 4 million people have left Venezuela, up from 695,000 in late 2015, according to UN data. Stein described the migration as “the biggest exodus in the recent history of the region.”

By 2020, the number of Venezuelan migrants in Latin America could rise to more than 8 million, over 3 million of whom might be in Colombia, Holmes Trujillo said.

By August 14, Colombia had received 96 million dollars in aid to cope with the influx for this year, according to the minister.

That is 30 per cent of the estimated need and only 68 dollars per migrant, far from what is being provided for refugees in countries such as Syria and South Sudan, he added.



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