The bilateral ceasefire between the Government of Colombia and FARC-EP guerrillas, and the signing of a peace accord have both had a positive impact on the humanitarian situation in Colombia. The peace accord brings the opportunity to de-mine the world´s second most mine affected country, and opens the way for reparations of the 8,320,874 conflict victims registered in the Victims Unit (January 2017).
During the armed conflict, a large number of minors became part of non-State armed groups. As of January 2016, nearly six thousand minors have been recovered according to the Colombian Family Welfare Agency. Within the framework of the peace dialogues in 2016, the negotiating parties agreed to release all children under 15 of age from FARC camps and committed to prepare a road map for the release of all other children under 18, and develop a special comprehensive program for their care. In 2017, IOM will continue to enhance the capacity of the Colombian government to respond to the challenges of the Peace Accords´ implementation and post-conflict processes.
Colombia has also faced a challenging situation along the Venezuelan border. From August to September 2015, thousands of Colombians returned from Venezuela in light of the unilateral closing of the border by Venezuela. According to the Colombian migration authority, more than 2 million border crossings took place during the first month (13 August – 13 September 2016) after the border was reopened a year later, primarily to purchase medicine and basic consumer goods in Colombia due to shortages in Venezuela. The UN Humanitarian Country Team has expressed concerns about the vulnerability of populations along the border, particularly among women, children and adolescents at risk of abuse, trafficking and sexual exploitation. IOM will provide emergency shelter along the border.
In the last couple of years, there has been an epidemic of hunger and starvation affecting mainly the children of the indigenous Wayúu people living in remote areas of the Guajira Department, as they have been cut off from the sole source of water in the region, the Ranchería River. Reports on this situation have been filed with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), showing that in the last eight years more than 4,770 children of this indigenous community have died due to malnourishment and a lack of drinking water. IOM will support the community with the provision of health care and psychosocial assistance.
Colombia is also vulnerable to natural disasters. According to information provided by the Government’s Disaster Response Unit, 556,728 people suffered from floods, droughts, windstorms, landslides and earthquakes between January and August 2016. IOM will support the Colombian government through preparedness and emergency response.
As of January 2017, it is estimated that close to 4.9 million individuals in Colombia are in need of humanitarian assistance.
IOM leads the CCCM cluster and co-leads the early reintegration cluster. IOM also coordinates very closely with OCHA in their inter-cluster role for humanitarian action in the country and participates actively in the UN Country Team meetings as well as the Humanitarian Country Team strategy. Field offices organize monthly meetings to review IASC subject issues and gather international partners working at local level in order to coordinate comprehensive actions with local institutions. IOM local staff also participates in the meetings. IOM works in close coordination with the Colombian Government (the Ministry of Health, Victims Unit, Colombian Reintegration Agency, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Colombian Family Welfare Institute), UN agencies (including UNHCR, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, OCHA, and UNFPA), and other partners.
Overall Targeted Beneficiaries: 26,540 beneficiaries
Contact Information: Mr. Alejandro Guidi, Chief of Mission, Aguidi@iom.int, (571) 6397777 Ext. 1201. Valerie Dourdin, Emergency Coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org, (571) 6397777 Ext. 1320.
IOM Offices: Country Office: Bogotá; Sub-Offices (11): Cartagena (Bolívar); Quibdó (Chocó), Medellín, Apartadó and San Andres de Cuequia (Antioquia); Pasto (Nariño); Riohacha (Guajira); Popayán and Santander de Quilichao (Cauca); Monteria (Córdoba) and Florencia (Caquetá). IOM also has 7 liaison offices in: Yopal (Casanare); Villavicencio (Meta); Tumaco (Nariño); Ibagué (Tolima); Soacha (Cundinamarca); and Cali and Buenaventura (Valle del Cauca).
International Staff: 6
National Staff: 269
- Protection Cluster
IOM has been improving educational infrastructure in border areas with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Education as part of the GoC Programs Plan Fronteras para la Prosperidad and Más y Mejores Espacios Escolares respectively to prevent recruitment of children by illegal armed groups, benefiting more than 20,000 children and adolescents.
- Health Cluster
In the framework of the victims institutional strengthening program, IOM supported the GoC to provide psychosocial services to 4,228 victims of the armed conflict. Likewise, the cooperation agreement between IOM and the Ministry of Health allowed for the training of around 1,600 vulnerable community leaders in mental health issues, with a psychosocial approach.
- Emergency shelter
IOM Colombia implemented a pilot Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) program between October and December 2016, with the aim of identifying human mobility patterns across the Venezuela-Colombia border in the departments of Norte de Santander and Arauca. Four public servants from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs were trained in DTM and 91 Colombian Armed Force soldiers were trained in CCCM activities in three municipalities.
- Early Recovery Cluster
In 2016, IOM implemented the IDF project: “Design comprehensive response actions to disorderly migration in border areas of the department of La Guajira”, which supported 123 returning citizens comprehensive return assistance in La Guajira Department, including health, education, legal advising, and job training.
- Inter-sectoral Activities
IOM Colombia and IOM Venezuela implemented in 2016 the Emergency Assistance Program for Persons in Search of International Protection across the Colombian Borders in Venezuela (Phase XI), which sought to target Colombian refugees in Venezuela through the provision of shelter, non-food items, health services provision, protection, legal assistance, and integration within host communities. 5,227 Colombian refugees seeking international protection in Venezuela we assisted.
Migration Crisis Operational Framework: Psychosocial Support throughout Humanitarian Demining processAmount Requested: USD 150,000 Amount Received: USD 0Objective:The objective of this intervention is two-fold 1) to support the GoC to design and pilot emotional recovery strategies in the municipality of Briceño, Department of Antioquia for people affected by landmines in new areas where humanitarian demining processes will be carried out; and 2) To conduct training of trainers and community members on mine risk education, including specific training for children.Beneficiaries:30 families and 15 community members as trainers
Humanitarian Response Plan: Return of migrants and socio-economic reintegrationAmount Requested: USD 300,000 Amount Received: USD 0Objective:Support the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the implementation of the Positive Return Plan (governmental program). Main activities are oriented to i) develop a National Entrepreneurship Plan for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to accompany the economic reintegration of migrants returning to the country; ii) provide technical and financial assistance to migrants returning to the country in order to promote the development of productive projects, skills strengthening, entrepreneurship and their labor inclusion.Beneficiaries:1,200 returnees
Humanitarian Response Plan: Rural development with territorial approach in 21 municipalities of the Cauca and Nariño DepartmentsAmount Requested: USD 500,000 Amount Received: USD 0Objective:Support vulnerable populations in target regions, including victims of armed conflict, to increase effectiveness of rural development management practices and livelihoods, within the framework of post-conflict processes. Main activities are oriented to i) increase leverage of women, vulnerable groups and local stakeholders in the formulation of strategies for sustainable rural development; and ii) improve social and economic conditions for rural vulnerable groups in selected micro-regions sustained through private, public and community contributions.Beneficiaries:1,400 vulnerable populations
Humanitarian Response Plan: Support the exit of minors from the FARC-EP campsAmount Requested: USD 300,000 Amount Received: USD 0Objective:In coordination with UNICEF, support the GoC in the process of releasing children from FARC in order to provide assistance in temporary transitional centers, and prepare for their reintegration and social inclusion. Activities include i) shelter and food provision with tailored approach (gender and ethnicity), implementation of initial characterization of beneficiaries, provision of psychosocial individual and familiar support, as well as a comprehensive assistance program to protect and guarantee the rights of all children; ii) the development of protective family environment diagnosis, provision of materials and supplies for the receptor families; and iii) technical support the Technical Committee created for the reception of the children.Beneficiaries:100 children and adolescents under 18 released from the FARC group
Humanitarian Response Plan: Accompanying victims of forced displacement and other crimes through the Mobile Unites GoC StrategyAmount Requested: USD 500,000 Amount Received: USD 0Objective:Support the implementation of the GoC’s Mobile Units strategy in order to provide psychosocial assistance and comprehensive health support to indigenous children and adolescents in la Guajira Department. Mobile Units verify and guarantee rights of minors and coordinate with relevant state institutions the provision of comprehensive assistance in order to reduce high levels of malnutrition in Wayuu communities.Beneficiaries:18,700 vulnerable indigenous Children and adolescents from La Guajira Department
Humanitarian Response Plan: Reintegration of ex-combatants and Prevention of Recruitment of children by illegal armed groupsAmount Requested: USD 1,400,000 Amount Received: USD 0Objective:Main activities are oriented to: i) IOM will help prepare for large-scale reintegration, improve management and exchange of information, and implement early reintegration activities from the start of the DDR cycle. ii) On prevention of recidivism and recruitment: IOM has identified risk factors for recidivism and recommended mitigation strategies. IOM will implement activities to increase effectiveness, monitoring and evaluation of current GoC prevention efforts as well as to involve the private sector and civil society in recruitment prevention initiatives; iii) On reintegration: IOM will support the GoC to implement the Legal Framework for Peace in connection with legal processing and ex-combatant contributions to truth, reparations and reconciliation; iv) IOM will also support the government in the implementation of Peace Accords’ pedagogy strategies.Beneficiaries:260 FARC former combatants and 1,500 children and community members
Humanitarian Response Plan: Capacity strengthen to address migration flows due to natural disastersAmount Requested: USD 300,000 Amount Received: USD 0Objective:To strengthen GoC agencies capacities in CCCM and shelter management in order to enhance emergency and preparedness support in remote areas affected by natural disasters, and to promote good practices in hygiene and provision of safe water, through social infrastructure. Activities will also include the implementation of a training strategy for local NGO partners with roles in migrant assistance and CCCM. Exact target areas will be defined according to GoC prioritization.Beneficiaries:200 people affected by natural disasters and 125 public servants