Ecuador declares state of emergency: 4200 refugees coming in everyday

On Wednesday, Ecuador officially declared a state of emergency in three of their provinces over serious security issues faced due to an unusually high number of Venezuelan migrants crossing over the border, attempting to flee the economic crisis-ridden South American nation.

Venezuela’s prolonged battle with hyper-inflation, lack of public facilities and domestic goods have forced many thousands of citizens to move out of the country, by crossing the northern border near Colombia, and heading towards nations like Ecuador, Peru and Chile.

The administration in Ecuador has declared a state of emergency in the provinces of El Oro, Carchi and Pichincha over security and human rights concerns. The government is attempting to provide some form of assistance to the fleeing Venezuelan refugees in the north as per statements from the country’s foreign ministry. As per official statistics, close to 4200 Venezuelans were entering Ecuador per day over the last week.

As per official statements, the state of emergency will be maintained throughout the month of August. There have been steps taken to provide food, shelter and medical aid to the refugees with more police forces being deployed to speed up the immigration procedures. Such an occurrence, however, is not unprecedented in the region. Colombia in recent history had granted asylum to more than 400,000 Venezuelan refugees, even permitting them to study, work and avail public facilities in the country.

Brazil too had recently declared a state of emergency in May and temporarily sealed off their northern border to prevent the inflow of any Venezuelan refugees. Argentina in the past have also provided asylum to nearly 30,000 Venezuelans to remain in their national territory under humanitarian grounds. Yet, the situation in Venezuela is not showing any visible improvement as of now, with more and more citizens fleeing the country to seek asylum in neighboring countries

 

*Rayan Bhattacharya is a Research Intern at The Kootneeti

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