The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) will expand the technical and financial cooperation offered to the immigration service, the Dirección General de Migración y Extranjería (DGME)  with the aim of strengthening its services to the public, given the increase in the number of refugee requests of migrants.

Photo from DGME Facebook

This was announced by the director of immigration, Raquel Vargas.

According to Vargas, Migración signed a Letter of Understanding with the UNHCR, which will allow, in a first phase, to rent a building to attend to the current flow of people. In addition, it empowers to hire 20 lawyers and 10 office workers.

“This cooperation will allow us to improve the process of reception and analysis of refugee applications and to recognize that condition to persons who meet the requirements established in the Convention on the Status of Refugees, signed by Costa Rica. This is a first phase, which is equivalent to a total of US$590,000 dollars to improve our services,” said Vargas.

The Deputy Minister of the Interior (Gobernación), Víctor Barrantes, explained that UNHCR assistance is important so that the migratory pressure does not affect the quality of services offered to both nationals and foreigners.

“The resources will be administered by UNHCR and immigration will be able to access them through the Memorandum of Understanding,” said Barrantes.

The document signed on the last Thursday will have a term of 2 years and will be extended automatically.

“With this letter of understanding, the UNHCR reaffirms its commitment to support the Government of Costa Rica in the effective response to the situation of refugees and asylum seekers in the country,” said Marcela Rodríguez-Farelly, official in charge of UNHCR.

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