Costa Rica overwhelmed with Nicaraguan asylum seekers

A  Costa Rican immigration officer requests documents from Nicaraguans at the border on July 24.

(CNN)An average of 200 Nicaraguans a day are applying for asylum in neighboring Costa Rica, overwhelming the nation's immigration authorities, according to the UN's refugee agency (UNHCR).

In recent months, the number of asylum applications has increased exponentially as Nicaragua enters its fifth consecutive month of anti-government unrest.
Nearly 8,000 asylum claims by Nicaraguans have been registered in Costa Rica since April and some 15,000 more have been given appointments for later registration, UNHCR reported.
"UNHCR appreciates the efforts of the Costa Rican authorities in keeping the country's borders open to Nicaraguans in need of international refugee protection, in line with its long tradition of solidarity," agency spokesman William Spindler said at a press conference in Geneva on Tuesday.