Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa has declared a state of national emergency in the country’s public health system to improve the quality of health care services delivered by Ecuador’s largest public hospitals, The Wall Street Journal reports. The state of emergency will be in place for 60 days and free up USD406 million for the country’s public health budget. This comes on top of the USD1.2 billion allocation for public health spending in the country’s 2011 fiscal budget.
Meanwhile, the number of officially recognized Colombian refugees in Ecuador have increased from a few hundred in 2000 to more than 52,000 in 2010, Reuters reports, citing figures from the Ecuadorian government. The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees says the this makes Ecuador the Latin American country with the most number of hosted refugees.