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LatinNews Regional Monitor: Andean Group - 15 April 2019

In brief: Colombia

* The Colombian government has announced the launch of an ‘impact plan’ aimed at mitigating the effects of the mass migration and border closures, consequences of the Venezuelan crisis, on Colombia’s border departments. With a budget of around Col$712bn (US$228m), the package compromises 50 measures which target social, economic, agricultural, and security needs in the departments of Norte de Santander, La Guajira, Cesar, Arauca, Vichada, and Guainía. The measures include access to credit lines with favourable rates, modifications to tax payments to lighten the tax burden, and the reinforcement of healthcare with new resources for emergency care in hospitals along the border. President Iván Duque announced the launch of the plan during a meeting with municipal and regional representatives from Colombia’s six border departments, highlighting that the plan was a result of collaboration between the national government and local authorities. “They are measures that serve to face the crisis, but also to leave these areas prepared for a return to democracy in Venezuela, which could also be a cornerstone for the economic recovery of these regions”, Duque said.