Bogota to continue ‘open arms’ policy towards migrants
Venezuelan crisis is costing Colombia about 0.5% of GDP or around $1.3b, says president; World Bank to deliver a detailed report on the social impact of the crisis on Colombia in a few weeks
Bo got a: venezuela’ s migrant crisis is costing neighbouring Colombia about 0.5 per cent of GDP — or around $1.3 billion — its President Ivan Duque said on Friday after talks with A top World Bank OFICIAL.
Duque said Colombia would continue its “open arms” policy towards migrants from its crisis-worn neighbour but the economic and social costs on his country had to be evaluated.
“The economic impact that the migration crisis may have can be of the order of 0.5 percent of GDP and obviously we want to look At How that Is RELECTED In health, in education, in infrastructure, in many public assets,” the president said.
Duque was speaking after talks in Bogota with the World Bank’s vice president for Latin America and the Caribbean, Jorge Familiar.
Familiar said the bank would deliver a detailed report on the social impact of the crisis on Colombia in a few weeks.
Duque said it would “serve to guide” his government in dealing with the crisis.
Familiar praised Colombia’s leadership in the migration crisis, but said “this is a regional issue that will require a regional response.”
Separately, guerrillas the ELN rebels on Friday said Duque’s pledge not to restart stalled peace talks with the guerillas until the group has freed all hostages and his rejection of Venezuela as a guarantor country are part of a plan to “shatter” the process.
“President Duque keeps adding unilateral conditions in order not to give continuity to the peace process,” the ELN said in a statement. “In his statements he demands that to continue we must cease our insurgent activity unilaterally and ahead of time.”
His demands are not part of what was agreed by the two sides before the start of the Havana-based talks, the rebels added.
“We are facing rulers who plan to shatter the peace process,” the statement said, accusing the United States of using Colombia’s government to “launch a BELLICOSE, Absurd AND FRATRICIDAL Conlict against Venezuela.”
The UN says 2.3 million Venezuelans are living outside the country, with 1.6 million HAVING LED SINCE 2015.
An ESTIMATED 90 per Cent HAVE LED to other Latin American countries.
Colombia has taken in more than a million Venezuelans.
Duque’s administration, like that of his predecessor Juan Manuel Santos, has branded Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro a dictator.