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article imageColombia receives $31.5 mn to address Venezuela refugee crisis: World Bank

By AFP     Apr 12, 2019 in World

Colombia will receive a $31.5 million grant to help deal with the flood of refugees from neighboring Venezuela, the World Bank announced Friday.

Colombia has received about a third of 3.7 million refugees who have fled the worsening crisis in Venezuela in recent years -- the most dramatic and fastest exodus in the world after war-torn Syria, according to the United Nations.

This influx of migrants and refugees to has put a severe strain on Colombia's economy and social services such as health care. The World Bank estimates the annual cost of hosting the migrants, not including infrastructure and facilities, at around 0.4 percent of GDP.

The grant comes from a multinational donor program known as Global Concessional Financing Facility.

The resources "will help finance the significant fiscal effort Colombia is making to host and help the Venezuelan migrants in the best way possible," Colombia's Finance Minister Alberto Carrasquilla said in a statement.

The grant will support policies and programs aimed at improving the lives of refugees and the communities hosting them throughout the country, the World Bank said.

In addition to the grant, the World Bank is working on a $750 million financing package for Colombia to address a series of issues, including competitiveness of the economy and migration.

The GCFF was launched in 2016 by the World Bank, the United Nations and the Islamic Development Bank to provide concessional funding to middle-income countries hosting large numbers of Syrian refugees, such as Jordan and Lebanon.

The funding mobilized for Colombia through the GCFF includes contributions from Canada, the Netherlands, Norway and the United Kingdom.

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