Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos will tighten border controls with Venezuela and provide extra aid as hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans flee an economic crisis, even while his country already spends millions of dollars to support the migrants.
Even while his country already spends millions of dollars to support the migrants.
“I urge you to allow us Colombians to help, to help the whole international community, to help Venezuelans not to suffer, at least, because of hunger and lack of medicine,” said the Colombian president.
Santos said he would put in place stricter migratory controls along the Venezuelan border, temporarily suspending new daily entry cards for Venezuelans, and deploy 3,000 new security personnel, including 2,120 more soldiers, along with the shared frontier.
Santos warned that he would not tolerate a crime committed by migrants and would prosecute any unlawful behavior.
He will create a new registry of Venezuelans already in Colombia — to better gauge the number of migrants in the country — and open a center with the help of the United Nations to provide aid.
“We urgently need humanitarian aid, hopefully, that the government will accept, the humanitarian aid that they are proposing to him from other countries, especial Colombia that has given us a point of support and has been consistent with us, the Venezuelans, but not with the government,” said Venezuela President Jose Sanchez.
Colombia estimated that it costs $5 per day to supply each Venezuelan migrant with food and lodging. The government did not provide figures on how many migrants it was supporting.
About 1.3 million Venezuelans have registered for the special migration card that allows them to cross the border by day to buy food and other products that are scarce in their own country. No more will be issued, for now, Santos said. — Reuters