Peru Declares Border Emergency After Venezuelan Migration Surge

(Bloomberg) -- Peru declared a state of emergency at parts of its border with Ecuador after a surge in Venezuelan migrants seeking to enter the country before new immigration rules took effect.

The measure aims to accelerate the Peru’s response to the “imminent danger” to health and sanitation in the area due to increased immigration, according to a statement Tuesday in the government newspaper El Peruano.

More than 300,000 Venezuelans have entered the country this year alone, overwhelming authorities in the Tumbes border region and raising concerns about the spread of malaria and other diseases. Thousands of Venezuelans hastened their journey to Peru after the government said they would need passports to enter starting Aug. 25. Foreign Minister Nestor Popolizio said a multilateral approach is needed to aid Venezuelans escaping the worsening economic collapse and humanitarian crisis in the Caribbean country.

Peru and other countries in the region plan to ask the United Nations for help with handling the inflows of Venezuelans, the minister told Lima-based Radio Programas earlier on Tuesday. Assistance would be sought in tasks ranging from initial health vaccinations to helping the migrants settle in and find work.

The number of Venezuelans entering Peru from Ecuador dropped to 1,630 on Sunday from a daily average of about 3,000 and a peak rate of more than 5,000 per day earlier this month, according to the immigration office.

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