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Panama asks for US, European help on migrants

·1 min read

PANAMA CITY (AP) — Panama’s top diplomat said Monday she has asked the United States for financial help in dealing with the large number of migrants who cross the jungle between Colombia and Panama, and plans to ask European countries to contribute as well.

Foreign Minister Erika Mouynes said the United States is considering the request. Mouynes said she would ask European governments on her upcoming visit to Europe. She said the number of migrants arriving at Panama's southern border is expected to rise in coming months.

Thousands of migrants, many from Haiti or African countries, make the dangerous crossing of the Darien gap on foot, in hopes of reaching the U.S. border.

More than 11,000 migrants have arrived in Panama in the first four months of this year, and so far in 2021 Panama has spent $7.6 million of its own funds to provide food, housing and medical care for them. Last year the country spent $13 million.

The Associated Press

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