Costa Rica


Operation: Opération: Costa Rica



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Key Figures

2019 planning figures
5,000 people of concern receiving legal assistance
3,510 people of concern registered on an individual basis with minimum set of data required
3,500 people of concern receiving humanitarian aid through different partners
1,900 people of concern receiving training for livelihood purposes  
1,250 people of concern provided with guidance on labour market opportunities
50% capacity support provided to Government status determination staff who will determine over 15,000 asylum claims 
100 reported SGBV incidents for which survivors are provided with a safe space
2017 year-end results
1,380 newly arrived asylum-seekers were provided with legal assistance 
1,110 families (2,310 people) received cash-based assistance  
1,040 people of concern were assisted with late birth registration procedures 
170 people of concern were provided with psychological individual assistance, of whom 55 were SGBV survivor women
130 people of concern from the NCA with heightened protection risks benefited from the Protection Transfer Arrangement (PTA), an humanitarian evacuation programme 

People of Concern Personnes relevant de la compétence du HCR

Increase in
2018 37,287
2017 12,015
2016 7,953


[["Refugees",4547],["Asylum-seekers",32618],["Stateless",82],["Others of concern",40]]
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Costa Rica

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2018 {"categories":[2014,2015,2016,2017,2018,2019],"budget":[2.88287074,3.028757242,4.77087632,6.46405512,12.08599401,13.68890689],"expenditure":[1.9659955,2.50565576,3.45812078,4.33992142,8.33893744,null]} {"categories":[2014,2015,2016,2017,2018,2019],"p1":[2.88287074,3.028757242,4.52223732,6.05407202,12.08599401,13.68890689],"p2":[null,null,0.248639,0.4099831,null,null],"p3":[null,null,null,null,null,null],"p4":[null,null,null,null,null,null]} {"categories":[2014,2015,2016,2017,2018,2019],"p1":[1.9659955,2.50565576,3.21075754,4.0048406,8.33893744,null],"p2":[null,null,0.24736324,0.33508082,null,null],"p3":[null,null,null,null,null,null],"p4":[null,null,null,null,null,null]}
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  • 2015
  • 2016
  • 2017
  • 2018
  • 2019

Year-end Overview

Plan Overview

Working environment

The working environment in Costa Rica is strongly characterized by the displacement caused by situations in Colombia, the North of Central America (NCA) and Venezuela, reaching close to 11,000 refugees and asylum-seekers as of 2017. Costa Rica has also become a transit country for people in a mixed movements and asylum-seekers from other regions, such as Africa, Asia and the Caribbean, in their journey northwards.
The number of new applications from Venezuelans has risen by 1,681 per cent over the last three years. With an average recognition rate of 10 per cent for the Venezuelan caseload, many Venezuelans do not meet the Refugee Convention’s criteria though they may require international protection.
Costa Rica’s sound protection and integration environment for people of concern in expected to continue in 2018.
Refugee and asylum-seekers have mixed socio-economic background. The socio-demographic profile of NCA nationals in Costa Rica is decreasing their local integration prospects, as they mainly arrive in large families and often experience vulnerabilities. Due to unemployment, the self-reliance prospects of people of concern are limited. Barriers to employment are posed by the labour competition in urban areas and the high cost of obtaining and renewing a refugee ID.
As one of the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF) pilot countries, consultations in Costa Rica have so far assessed the achievements made in the Brazil Plan of Action implementation, such as quality of asylum; alternatives to administrative detention; local integration for those people of concern who are included in the national social programmes; benefit from corporate social responsibility schemes; and refugees count on facilitated naturalisation procedures. Through the CRRF, the Government of Costa Rica will take full responsibility of the refugee Protection and Solution programmes, while UNHCR and partner agencies will complement the Government’s actions through gap filling initiatives.  

Key priorities

In 2018, UNHCR will focus on:
  • Enhancing presence at points of entry to the territory;
  • Strengthening the Government’s RSD capacity;
  • In line with Costa Rica´s CRRF, advocating for gratuity of refugee IDs to allow access to rights on the same footing as nationals
  • Supporting the Government’s initiatives for child protection and sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) prevention and response;
  • Filling any possible gaps in Government-led humanitarian initiatives, in line with the Commitments agreed within MINARE;
  • Enhancing refugees’ access to employment through the “Living Integration”, a corporate social responsibility communication strategy
  • Consolidating the Protection Transfer Arrangement (PTA), a programme, which aims at the humanitarian evacuation of people at heightened risk from El Salvador to Costa Rica, and from there to other resettlement countries;
  • In line with CRRF, UNHCR will advocate for Complementary protection measures for those who do not meet the 1951 Convention refugee criteria and are still in need of international protection.
Latest contributions
  • 17-JUL-2019
  • 16-JUL-2019
  • 11-JUL-2019
  • 10-JUL-2019
  • 08-JUL-2019
    European Union
  • Kuwait
  • 05-JUL-2019
  • 04-JUL-2019

    private donors

  • European Union
  • Japan
  • 03-JUL-2019
  • 02-JUL-2019
  • 30-JUN-2019

    private donors

  • Argentina
  • Sweden

    private donors

  • Spain
  • Oman

    private donors

  • United Arab Emirates

    private donors

  • Kuwait

    private donors

  • Saudi Arabia

    private donors