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UNHCR grants Costa Rica assistance to help Nicaraguan migrants

February 8, 2020

The UN Refugee Agency announced Friday that it will grant $4.1 million to Costa Rica to assist asylum-seekers in the country who are living in poverty.

The help of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) was announced after a meeting of the agency’s deputy director, Kelly Clements, with the president of Costa Rica, Carlos Alvarado.

“From UNHCR, we reaffirm our support for the country in the humanitarian response to people who have fled to save their lives,” Clements said after the meeting.

The announcement of the aid came after Alvarado asked for international assistance during the World Forum on Refugees, held in December in Geneva, to attend Nicaraguans and Venezuelans in Costa Rica.

The resources will be used to help poor asylum families, provide legal assistance and finance civil organizations that help migrants in Costa Rica, according to a statement from the presidency.

The president insisted that the situation of refugees “is a shared responsibility of all countries and international organizations.”

According to official data, there are currently 87,190 asylum seekers in Costa Rica, of which 80% are Nicaraguans and 7% Venezuelans.

Nicaraguan migration was intensified by the repression of a wave of anti-government protests initiated in April 2018, while the exodus of Venezuelans accelerated in 2015 due to the serious economic and political crisis in that country.

Clements, who arrived in Costa Rica from Panama, will visit the northern part of the country Saturday to learn about the situation of Nicaraguan refugee families, before leaving for El Salvador.

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