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Ecuador: $550 million needed to respond to Venezuela exodus

November 23, 2018

A Venezuelan migrant named Renzo sell arepas, a Venezuelan cornmeal cake, at a street corner in Quito, Ecuador, Thursday, Nov. 22, 2018. Renzo claims that he worked as an electrical engineer back in Venezuela, but now sells arepas to maintain his family that emigrated with him to Ecuador. (AP Photo/Dolores Ochoa)

QUITO, Ecuador (AP) — Officials in Ecuador say it will cost the small South American nation $550 million to respond to the influx of Venezuelan migrants.

Vice Minister Santiago Chavez said Friday the price of health, education and other services migrants require is quickly adding up.

Chavez made the remarks as leaders from throughout Latin America gathered in Ecuador’s capital to discuss a joint response to the exodus. The United Nations says more than 3 million Venezuelans have fled their country’s economic and humanitarian crisis in recent years, putting a strain on governments throughout the region.

The World Bank recently estimated it will cost Colombia upward of $1 billion over the next year to tend to the surge of migrants.

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