UN warns Nicaraguan refugees in Costa Rica going hungry - InfoNews

Current Conditions

Smoke
15.4°C

UN warns Nicaraguan refugees in Costa Rica going hungry

August 28, 2020 - 10:19 AM

MANAGUA, Nicaragua - More than 60,000 of the Nicaraguan refugees and asylum seekers in Costa Rica are going hungry during the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.N. Refugee Agency said Friday, and it worries some could take the risk of returning to Nicaragua.

“More than three quarters of the Nicaraguan refugees and asylum seekers in Costa Rica are going hungry, eating only once or twice a day as a result of the socio-economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees agency said in a statement.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic struck, 93% of the Nicaraguan refugees in Costa Rica reported steady work-related income. By the end of July, that figure had dropped to 59% as the pandemic froze much of the country’s economic activity, the U.N. agency said.

“This leaves many also at risk of eviction and homelessness,” the statement said. One fifth of the refugees surveyed said they did not know where they would live in the next month.

The refugees and asylum seekers are concentrated in the capital, San Jose, and in informal encampments near the Nicaragua border. They began fleeing Nicaragua after April 2018 protests were violently put down by the government. There continue to be reports of persecution inside Nicaragua against those who participated in the protests.

Economies around the world have been devastated by the virus and the measures governments have taken to try to slow its spread. Costa Rica is no exception and the situation is only worse for refugees who tend to find work in the informal economy.

More than 3,000 asylum claims have been withdrawn, principally by Nicaraguans, and 21% of the Nicaraguan refugees and asylum seekers surveyed said at least one member of their household was considering a return to Nicaragua, according to the agency.

News from © The Associated Press, 2020
The Associated Press

  • Popular kamloops News
View Site in: Desktop | Mobile