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Ecuador requests more Int'l aid for its Colombian refugees

09-21-2010 16:03 BJT

QUITO, Sept. 20 (Xinhua) -- Ecuador's government Monday requested more international aid to help the country deal with thousands of Colombian refugees.

The director of the Ecuadorian Foreign Ministry's refugee department Alfonso Morales said that international aid to Colombia and Ecuador is unequally distributed, adding that his country will work to "receive the cooperation it deserves."

According to Morales, Colombia has 46 million inhabitants while Ecuador has 13 million, thus Colombia should receive perhaps at most five to 10 times more aid than Ecuador, yet the fact is Colombia gets 30 times more than Ecuador.

Morales emphasized Ecuador does not want Colombia to receive less aid, but expects Ecuador to receive more.

Ecuador spends 40 million U.S. dollars annually assisting some 53,000 Colombian refugees with health, education and subsidy services. The Colombian refugees arrive in Ecuador to escape from violence and armed conflicts in their own country.

Part of this budget comes from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

According to Ecuador's Foreign Ministry, Ecuador receives more than 1,000 refugee requests each month, and the total number of Colombian refugees seeking shelter in Ecuador is expected to reach over 15,000 by the end of 2010.

Editor:Jin Lin |Source: Xinhua

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