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Costa Rica warns Biden that pandemic, climate change will increase migration

November 30, 2020

The president of Costa Rica, Carlos Alvarado, on Monday asked US President-elect Joe Biden to lead multilateral action to face the economic impacts of Covid-19 and climate change that could increase migration in Central America.

In a telephone conversation between the two leaders, Alvarado warned Biden that the pandemic and the climate crisis will have “devastating economic and fiscal consequences” in the Central American countries, which the Costa Rican argued will “intensify migratory phenomena in the region.”

Given this, Alvarado proposed to Biden “a solidarity and effective multilateralism to achieve a green and resilient economic reconstruction,” the Costa Rican Presidency said in a statement.

“You can count on Costa Rica to undertake this urgent task,” Alvarado added.

Costa Rica has been impacted hard by the coronavirus crisis, which almost doubled unemployment from 12% in March to 22% in September, while the fiscal deficit — at 6% of GDP in 2019 — will reach 9.3% by the end of 2020, according to a projection from the Central Bank.

The Northern Triangle of Central America (El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras) is one of the main sources of migrants to the United States. Residents there flee poverty and violence in their communities.

Alvarado explained to Biden his initiative to create the Fund to Alleviate COVID-19 Economics (FACE), financed with 0.7% of the GDP of the strongest economies in the world, which would serve to grant loans under favorable conditions to emerging countries with fixed and long-term rates.

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