Colombia will give $700,000 to humanitarian organizations for Colombian refugees in Ecuador, the foreign minister announced Thursday after a meeting with her Ecuadorean counterpart.
“Colombia will make a transfer of resources for $500,000 to the UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) and another $200,000 to the International Organization for Migration (IOM),” said Colombian Foreign Minister Maria Angela Holguin. The funds, she explained, are intended “to cover the needs for the remainder of the year of the Colombians that are found in that area and want to return home.”
The pledge is part of a joint Action Plan agreed upon by the the foreign ministers from Colombia and Ecuador, who met in the border town of Ipiales Thursday to reinstate the Good Neighbor Commission between the two governments.
Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa praised the announcement, explaining that Ecuador has tried several times in the past to have Colombia take joint responsibility in the refugee problem, but has never seen concrete results.
According to Caracol Radio, Ecuador currently has about 53,000 Colombian refugees, most of whom fled from the armed conflict. This refugee population makes up 98% of refugees in Ecuador.