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Ecuador to start new 'normalization process' for Venezuelan migrants

Ecuador to start new 'normalization process' for Venezuelan migrants

A Venezuelan immigrant makes a plea for money on a street corner to help him and his family return home to Venezuela amid the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Guayaquil, Ecuador on Apr 20, 2020. (Photo: REUTERS/Vicente Gaibor del Pino)

REUTERS: Ecuador will implement a new "normalisation process" for the 430,000 Venezuelan migrants living in the South American country, President Guillermo Lasso said on Thursday, without providing further details of the plan.

Lasso's announcement, at a conference hosted by Canada intended to raise money to support the more than 5.6 million Venezuelans who have fled an economic crisis in the South American country, came after Colombia in February gave 10-year protected status to the nearly 2 million Venezuelans it hosts.

"I am pleased to announce the beginning of a new regularisation process, which in order to be an effective, lasting and permanent policy should be complemented by strategies for economic integration and labour market access," Lasso said.

Ecuador in late 2019 launched a regularisation process for Venezuelans who arrived before July of that year. That included two-year humanitarian visas meant to facilitate access to social services.

Lasso said Ecuador needed outside funding to continue caring for Venezuelan migrants, estimating that more than 100,000 additional migrants were expected to arrive before the end of the year.

"I call on our partners in the international community to be co-responsible and have solidarity with Venezuelan migrants and refugees, and with the countries that receive them," he said.

Source: Reuters/ec

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