Costa Rican President Rodrigo Chaves asked Wednesday at the Davos forum for financial support so that the country can continue to be “just as generous” with the thousands of refugees arriving at the border.
“Economic migrants cost us more or less between 200 and 300 million dollars a year in public health, education and public safety. Costa Rica is a generous country but we need, in order to continue being equally generous, the support of the countries to which those economic migrants would go, particularly the United States of America,” Chaves said at the World Economic Forum (WEF).
Costa Rica has also absorbed in recent years a large migratory wave from Nicaragua and it is estimated that about half a million Nicaraguans are in the country, many of them mixed into the labor market, according to estimates by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), a UN agency.
“We have hundreds of thousands of people who claim to be refugees when in reality they are economic migrants.” Chaves said.
The Costa Rican president also defended the “discipline” of his government to straighten the public accounts and said that it has complied in a “stellar” way with the agreement with the International Monetary Fund, which allowed it to close 2022 with more than a 2% surplus.
Costa Rica, among the most prosperous countries in Central America and “a democratic, environmental, financial and fiscal sustainability benchmark”, according to Chaves, is looking for investments in Davos to continue developing its thriving tourism sector, among other area.