Central Bank Governor: Hosting Venezuelans could cost $620M/year

The Central Bank Governor has estimated that it will cost the state around $620 million dollars a year to support the Venezuelans who have migrated to this country.

Dr Alvin Hilaire said at first he was skeptical about that figure but then said after looking at the impact on Colombia, that 600-odd million-dollar figure seemed plausible.

Colombia has so far taken in almost 1.2 million Venezuelan migrants and refugees. This has cost that country around 0.4% of its GDP.

The South American country has had to seek financial aid to support the Venezuelans with the World Bank recently giving them a grant of around $US31.5 million.

Dr Hilaire believes this is something this country may need to explore.

“There has been set up in the Inter American Development Bank, a facility of around $US100 million, we should be able to access that given the seriousness of our situation.”

Dr Hilaire said several sectors will also be impacted.

“The labour market surely, the housing market, social services and then you have national insurance, health and security”.

But the Central Bank believes there are positives, particularly in the labour market, once the Venezuelans here are issued the work permit exemptions.

“The economic benefits could be anything where humans move and bring anything with them, they bring their skills, they bring their approach to things, so there could potentially be large benefits over time, and they can contribute to taxes but not in the immediate fund.”

- Akash Samaroo

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