UN team in Costa Rica presenting plan to help cope with migrants, refugees-Xinhua

UN team in Costa Rica presenting plan to help cope with migrants, refugees

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2024-02-22 04:52:30

UNITED NATIONS, Feb. 21 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations team in Costa Rica has unveiled a Comprehensive Preparedness and Response Plan aimed at assisting refugees and migrants in transit, a spokesperson for the UN confirmed on Wednesday.

The team, led by UN Resident Coordinator Allegra Baiocchi, is presenting the plan this week, said Stephane Dujarric, chief spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

The plan's objective, Dujarric said, is "to boost assistance to vulnerable refugees and migrants, addressing various needs, including health, shelter, and hygiene, while ensuring dignified treatment and upholding their rights. Last year, over half a million people entered Costa Rica from Panama, that's more than double that entered the previous year."

He said the program places particular emphasis on women and children, with children constituting nearly one in five people in transit.

"Last year, the UN team in Costa Rica, working with partners, supported over 84,000 people, providing medical assistance, legal advice on migration, voluntary return, food aid, hygiene kits, and care in safe spaces," the spokesman said.

The UN Refugee Agency described in its Global Focus the migrants and refugees passing through Costa Rica, mainly to Spain and the United States, as a "mixed movement," with most arriving in dire conditions and having urgent humanitarian and protection needs.

The agency said it works with the UN's International Organization for Migrants and other UN agencies to implement a Safe Mobility initiative to provide lawful pathways to their destinations.

The Refugee Agency also said Costa Rica is a leading destination country for people needing international protection, primarily from Nicaragua.

"Since 2018, the country has hosted over 300,000 Nicaraguans seeking asylum," the agency said, adding that the increase in asylum claims puts significant pressure on Costa Rica's asylum system and essential services.