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Bolivia to give refugee status to 200 Venezuelans

Bolivian interim Foreign Minister, Karen Longaric, said that a majority of applicants are in Bolivia under an irregular status or with temporary permits.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) will cover the economic expenses required by the permanence of these citizens in Bolivia, Longaric said during a news conference.

About 4.7 million Venezuelans, 16 percent of the country’s population, have fled Venezuela since its economy suffered a 65 percent contraction in 2013, the largest outside of war in 45 years.

Venezuela is second only to Syria in terms of how many displaced people are living outside their country of origin. But estimates from the United Nations Refugee Agency show that if current trends continue, there could be as many as 6.5 million Venezuelans living outside of their country by 2020.

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