Officials in Ecuador say it will cost the nation $550 million a year to respond to the influx of Venezuelan migrants.
Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Santiago Chavez said Friday the price of health, education and other services migrants require is quickly adding up.
“The countries accepting refugees need help to cover the mounting expenses,” Chavez said. “We support the proposal made by Colombia at the last session of the UN General Assembly that international financial organizations such as the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Andean Development Corporation create a regional fund to help us provide for the migrants.”
Chavez made the remarks as leaders from throughout Latin America gathered in Quito to discuss a joint response to the exodus. The United Nations says more than three million Venezuelans have fled their country’s economic and humanitarian crisis in recent years, putting a strain on governments throughout the region.
Ecuador’s foreign ministry estimates that 750,000 Venezuelans have entered Ecuador since the migration began and that about 250,000 are currently in the country.
The World Bank estimates that Colombia needs upward of $1 billion annually to handle the one million Venezuelans in that country.