San José (Agenzia Fides) – Yesterday Costa Rica, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and International Organization for Migration (IOM), announced an agreement that the country will offer temporary shelter to Central American refugees since it is directly involved. The news was given during a press conference at the Presidential Palace by the Minister of Presidency Sergio Alfaro, the UNHCR representative in this country Carlos Maldonado, and the head of the local IOM mission, Roeland De Wilde.
"The convention applies to citizens of countries in the region who are considered to be in danger and have requested the status of refugee for a third country, other than Costa Rica" said Alfaro, according to the report sent to Fides. These persons have been previously indicated by UNHCR as candidates for being accepted here, minister Alfaro added, explaining that Costa Rica will open its borders only to these persons who will receive a temporary humanitarian visa .
Carlos Maldonado UNHCR representative in Costa Rica said he was proud and honoured to sign this agreement of cooperation and described Costa Rica as a partner of reference for the protection of refugees, with model –programmes in the sector. The agreement does not include foreign illegal migrants present in Costa Rica, it is addressed to citizens of what is known as the Northern Triangle : Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. The refugees will stay a maximum period of 6 months in Costa Rica, will number never more than 200, and will be accommodated mainly in ‘group homes’.
(CE) (Agenzia Fides, 27/07/2016)