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Four million Venezuelans may live in Colombia by 2021, cost $9 billion

Staff Writer | October 3, 2018
There could be up to 4 million Venezuelan migrants living in Colombia by 2021 if the situation in the socialist-run country worsens, Colombia’s foreign minister said on Tuesday, estimating the cost at some $9 billion.
Brazil border
LatAm   Venezuelans have been crossing into countries across the region
Venezuelans have been crossing into countries across the region to escape food and medicine shortages and a deep economic crisis. Many have settled in Colombia, with which Venezuela shares a porous eastern border.

Nearly one million Venezuelan immigrants already live in Colombia, which has a total population of around 50 million.

Their presence could cost the Andean nation about 0.5 percent of its gross domestic product in healthcare, education and infrastructure spending, the government said last week.

“In a scenario where the situation worsens, we’re talking about 4 million Venezuelans in Colombia,” Foreign Minister Carlos Holmes Trujillo said at a migration forum in Bogota, citing a worst-case scenario estimate from a government study he said will be published next week. “Resource requirements would be 26.57 trillion pesos ($8.87 billion).”

“We’re facing the magnitude of this challenge, which our country has never seen before,” Trujillo said, adding that under the worst-case scenario, Colombia “would be obliged to make budget allocation adjustments on the order of 10.5 percent in the coming years.”