Ecuador on June 24 opened its first refugee office along the border with Colombia with the support of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The new office, located a few kilometers from the Colombian border in the northern city of Lago Agrio, will provide advice to refugees and carry out interviews to decide the eligibility of asylum-seekers who are applying for refugee status. UNHCR, which will support the running of the center for the next year, welcomed the decentralization of the Government Refugee Office as a significant step towards strengthening refugee protection in the country. (UN News Service)

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